St Marie du Castel

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Castel Church, from a 1911 postcard

The church of St Marie du Castel is the Anglican parish church of the Castel parish in Guernsey. It was formerly known officially as Our Lady of Deliverance of the Castel.

Outside the main door can be seen the Neolithic statue menhir found under the floor of the church during the 19th century, similar to La Gran'mere du Chimquiere in St Martins. At its foot lie the stone seats for the official of the medieval court of Fief St Michel.

The church of Our Lady of Deliverance to use its ancient title, was first mentioned in a papal document dated 1155. The earliest part of the church is the western half of the north aisle, dating from the last half of the 11th century or the first quarter of the 12th.

Internally there are a number of interesting features: in the north chancel, 13th century frescos and a medieval stone credence, and an hagioscope piercing one of the tower pillars; in the south chancel, an ancient piscine, a blocked up priest's door and a "hole in the wall", thought to be the remains of a cupboard where the altar vessels were stored.

Externally, growth of the building can be gauged by a number of blocked doorways and reconstructed windows. Alternatives to the church building have been accompanied by other variations which can be seen reflected in the list of Rectors. The list begins in 1262, and encompasses Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Calvinist and Anglican clergy.

The Priaulx Library holds microfilm copies of the registers of baptisms, marriages and burials from 1674 to 1960.

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