The Lady Chapel
The Lady Chapel is so-called because it is dedicated to ‘Our Lady’, the mother of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is likely that the original St Mary’s was on this site, to the north of the present High Altar and Chancel. Here the outstanding feature is the magnificent “Queen of Heaven” window, created by the firm of Hardman, who, with Morris & Co, were the finest exponents of the Victorian revival in stained glass. The window is, in fact, executed in rather more expensive lacquered glass, and was designed by the younger Hardman, who had been much influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite painters and by the great architect Augustus Welby Pugin. The Virgin is enthroned below Christ; the archangel Gabriel kneels before her and she is surrounded by Christian Queens, Saints and Martyrs.
In the distance you can see Henley Church Tower. A statue of Our Lady and Child entitled “La Vierge presentant L’Enfant” is by Anne-Marie Roux-Colas – the original is in the Louvre in Paris. The smaller Nativity window on the North side of the chapel is also by Hardman, and, though less imposing than the great Queen of Heaven window, has its own quiet charm. The memorial to Maria King, wife of the then Rector, on the South wall of the Chapel, and which uses an earlier memorial as its base, is a tribute to the strength of feeling her death raised in the town.