Were Richard of Gloucester and Lady Anne Neville married in this church….?

The Manor House, Church Green, Stanford-in-the-Vale, Oxfordshire, with the Church of St Denys on the right.

An article  about the end of stamp duty on some properties, included a smaller column from which I’ve taken the following:

“….A six-bedroom family home [in Stanford-in-the-Vale] linked to Richard III sold for £2.65million after spending just three weeks on the market….[it] was once owned by Anne Neville, who was Queen Consort to Richard III….”

But then, while looking a little deeper into this, I came upon this article which includes many illustrations…and also a piece of information that was much more interesting than Anne Neville merely coming into possession of the manor. Again, I quote:

“….In 1474, Anne Beauchamp, 16th Countess of Warwick, conferred all her estates on her two daughters. Stanford was among those she passed to Anne Neville who later became Queen Consort to King Richard III. It is thought that the neighbouring church of St Denys may have been the site of their wedding as the South Porch, built in the 1470’s, bears the arms of York and Warwick….”

Well, as almost nothing is known about the wedding of Richard of Gloucester and Lady Anne Neville (beyond the fact that it actually happened) I was obviously brought up rather sharpish by this revelation. I can’t imagine it’s more than a local legend, but then again such legends do sometimes contain a kernel of truth. Does anyone know any more about it?

Here is a third site which includes photographs of the church, and one of its porches, which is indeed quite imposing.

One of the porches of the Church of St Denys, Stanford-in-the-Vale, Oxfordshire

 

1 comment

  1. Thanks so much for posting this – news to me, I must admit.
    The first thing to note, of course, is that this wouldn’t be the only church in the country to carry an heraldic clue to patronage by Richard and Anne. But it is rather odd. All I can find by googling are pictures of the above porch, which is the south porch, together with claims that this is the one built by Richard and Anne and that carries the arms of Neville and York. But the two circular blobs on either side of the door ar completely indecipherable in the photos – maybe they had arms in them, maybe not. And that doorway doesn’t look very 15th century in style to me – don’t know what anyone else thinks. So I checked the Victoria County History and found no mention of any arms of York and Warwick, and all it has to say about the South Porch was the following:
    “The south doorway has a late 12th-century pointed arch of two orders, the outer moulded and resting on side shafts with scalloped capitals and square abaci and the inner order chamfered.”

    Interestingly, though, the VCH also informs that Stanford was one of the manors that Queen Anne Neville conferred on Queens’ College, Cambridge.

    Perhaps this evidence that this manor went to Anne in 1474 was the foundation of the story about the nature of the arms (?) in the South Porch, and then that led to the tale of the marriage. . . .

    Unless anyone knows different.

    Anyhow, if Anne was in St. Martin’s Sanctuary prior to the wedding (which took place in 1472-3, before she came to own any manors), she would surely have avoided travelling all that way to marry because she would have been dependent on Richard’s men for an escort, which could easily have been classed as abduction and used to annul the marriage. Perhaps the likeliest thing is that she married in the chapel in St. Martin’s?

    Liked by 1 person

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