The Church of Haynes is first mentioned in 1150, when it was given by Pain and Rose deBeauchamp to the priory of Chicksands on the occasion of the foundation of the latter. 

St Mary’s Church was mostly rebuilt in 1850 through the generosity of Lord John Thynne, who succeeded to the Lordship of the Manor in 1849 and ownership of Haynes park. The mansion is visible across the park to the north of the church.

Of the medieval church there are substantial remains, much masked by later work. The most striking and earliest visible work inside the building is the South Arcade of four bays of quatrefoil piers and double chamfered arches, dating from c.1300 and the Chancel and Tower Arches of c.1350-1400. These indicate that the nave retains its medieval length of 60 feet, and with the exception of the north aisle is substantially of its medieval capacity.

That there was an earlier church is confirmed by the fact that the list of clergy goes back to 1150 and it is likely that a new church was built c.1115 by the monks of Chicksands priory who were responsible for the structure and staffing of the building.


 South Arcade




The Tower, restored during 1986, is of the late 14th century, built mostly of local ferruginous sandstone (carstone) with dressings of chalky Toternhoe stone, visible as grey voussoirs alternating with sandstone over the tower windows, and in the earlier tracery where this survives.

The Chancel is structurally of the late 14th or early 15th century but has been altered by later work. The ceiling was remade in the late Gerogian period - the thin ribs to the plaster vaulting are typical of such work of the late 18th century, and may coincide with the rebuilding of the south front of Haynes Park in the early 1790s when the necessary craftsmen would have been readily to hand. 


The Victorian Rebuilding in 1850, the year after the Reverend Lord John Thyne, Canon and Sub-Dean of Westminster Abbey, inherited the estate (then called Hawnes Place), formed part of the general improvement scheme which included the building of a village school almost opposite the church, improvements to local water supplies, the rebuilding of the rear part of the mansion and improvements to farms and cottages on the estate.

Although the church was originally a medieval buidling, it was largely reconstructed in 1850 by the architect, Henry Woodyer of Guildford, Surrey. A summary of the work undertaken was reported in the Bedfordshire Times for the 26th July 1851, which records the service of rededication held in the 'new' church on Thursday 17th July 1851.


 The North Aisle was added to the church with its new arcade copying the earlier work in the south arcade. A Chantry chapel was built for the future reception of the bodies of Lord John and his wife, Anne Constantia, and a new vestry on the north-east of the sanctuary. The south wall of the church was rebuilt and underpinned as necessary, and the regular carstone masonry on the outside indicates that the entire wall was refaced at this time. New windows in the machine-dressed stone in 14th century style replaced the earlier windows of various dates which were of Toternhoe stone and probably much decayed. The south porch was rebuilt. The Rose Window - Woodyer's 'trademark' - can also be seen on the old school building opposite the church.





Rose Window internal    Rose Window