HISTORY OF ST MARY’S CHURCH, EWELME
Caring for the Village People from the Cradle to the Grave
God’s House at Ewelme provided a church, school and almshouses for the people of the village, thus caring for them from the cradle to the grave.
The bright but poor boys of the de la Pole’s estates were taught Maths, Latin and Grammar by the Grammar Master, who prepared them for entry to Oxford University.
Thirteen poor men of the village were appointed Almsmen to pray for the souls of their benefactors, and the King. They would attend 6 services a day and be paid a small subsistence while living in the cloister. The almshouses still house 13 Almsmen and women – although they have been modernised and only 5 remain in the Cloister. A further 6 are in Suffolk House, a modern almshouse complex just a short walk away.
All were welcome in Church – thus supporting all ages and those of all means.
Ewelme village school is a successful and popular primary school. It is the oldest school building in the country in use as a Church State Primary School.