Local History Society

 New Church - Interior from 1994

Monuments in new churchyard, as recorded in 1929

New church under construction, from the east

New church under construction, from the west

New church interior, 1940s





Here are some photos of the interior of St. Bartholomew's from the 1994 Parish Council Centenary Celebrations. It was decorated with magnificent flower arrangements and tableaux exploring Christian themes, including the large cross as a centrepiece.


One section of stained glass was salvaged from the old church. It's known as 'Aaron's Head':

There is a description of Aaron's Head in the Church, which reads (with minor alterations):

This piece of painted glass is all that is left of a Window painted by John Rowell of Reading for Arborfield Old Church. Under the window was this inscription, in a combination of Latin and Greek, here shown in translation:

“To the honour of GOD MOST HIGH and to beautify the Church John Waterman, Master of Arts, Rector, gave and dedicated this window decorated with these pictures, and all the Chancel ornamented at his own expense, in the Year of Salvation 1744”.

John Waterman was Rector from 1739 to 1755.

John Rowell was celebrated for his stained glass windows and rich colouring, the secret of his wonderful Red died with him in 1756. Of his window in Arborfield Church, the Reverend Charles Coates, L.L.B., writes in his “History and Antiquities of Reading”, 1802 : -

“In the Church of Arborfield in Berkshire, is a window over the Altar, of two compartments, in which are represented in half-length, the figures of Moses and Aaron by Rowell, holding the two Tables of the Law. The colours of the Drapery are crimson, blue and purple, all very rich, the breastplate of Aaron is remarkably brilliant”.

In taking out this Window in 1863, on the demolition of the Old Church, it was unfortunately broken, and only this portion of Aaron’s Head was saved.

There are photographs of the Standen Tomb at the end of an article on the Standen family, which can be viewed by clicking here.

Reading Local Studies Library has an engraving showing the Standen Tomb when it was in the old church in around 1842. Its web-site describes the engraving as follows: 'The tomb of Sir William Standen, who died in 1639, and Maria, his wife. The monument was later moved to the new church, on a different site. Print, drawn by E. J. Niemann, and engraved by S. Williams, from "The Environs of Reading" by J. G. Robertson, published in 1843'. You can see the engraving by clicking here.

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