St Mary's Hadley was first built c1140. Much of the building we see today was built at the end of the 15th century and there is a date over the door that reads 1494. High above on the tower is a stand for holding a beacon.
Beacons were used to signal important news, such as imminent invasion. The beacon would have been lit during the threat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. The original beacon was replaced during the reign of George III, but the age of the present beacon is not known and may be the third one. Inside the church there is a medieval brass monument to William and Joan Tornor dated 1500.
The Wilbraham monument shows Sir Rodger and his wife Mary in their Elizabethan collars called "ruffs" (see Wilbraham's Almshouses in Hadley Green).
Next door to the church are Pagitts' six almshouses. Justinian Pagitt, who wanted to provide a house for the parish clerk and "six poor couples" of Hadley, put money aside to set up the original charity in 1678.
These houses were built between 1822 and 1849, from this money. The present building is faced with knapped flint. The gate, called Chase Gate, was intended to keep the cattle on the common.
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