St Marguerite de la Forêt

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Forest Church, from an old postcard

The church of Ste Marguerite de la Forêt is the parish church of the Forest parish in Guernsey.

Construction

The church itself consists essentially of two parts; a 13th century nave, central tower with spire and chancel and a 15th century north aisle.

The first section of the church to be built was the south-east corner, which incorporates massive stones that were once part of a dolmen.

The simple arcading which divides the interior of the church is thought to be constructed of stone from îles Chausey which, being softer than the granite, was capable of being carved.

The original entrance to the church was on the south side. The present main door, on the north side, was the women’s entrance in the middle ages, the main south door being reserved for men and boys.

In 1891 there was a complete restoration of the church interior. The floor was lowered by 17 inches, and the sanctuary and chancel were left higher than the new nave.

Musical instruments, now displayed by the north door, led the singing in the church prior to 1868 when the first pipe organ was installed. The church contains a well preserved 16th century piscine and in the tower are six bells hung for change ringing.

Parish Registers

The Priaulx Library holds microfilm copies of baptisms, marriages and burials registers from 1700. None of the registers before this date have survived.

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