PCC Meeting Papers
William Holland came as Rector to St Mary's in 1848 along with his gifted wife, Mildred, and a considerable inheritance. To him and the benevolent Vanneck family we owe the furnishing and order of the Church as it is now. The Church was closed for eight months from September 1859 to April 1860 during which time Mildred Holland painted the chancel roof.
Tradesmen provided scaffolding and prepared the ceiling for painting but there is no record to show that she had any help with her work and legend has it that she did much of it lying on her back. You can only imagine how she managed ladders, scaffolding and the hard labour of painting wearing Victorian corsets and many petticoats!
Three years later she began to paint again in the nave. In 1866 the scaffolding was finally taken down on September 1st. The cost of repairing and preparing the nave roof was £247.10s.7d of which £16.7s.6d was for 225 books of gold leaf and £72 for colours.
William Holland's notebooks show that between 1859 and 1882 a total of £2,034.10s.0d was spent on church restoration of which, apparently, he gave all but £400. A very generous gift indeed.
Mildred died in 1878: William served on until 1982, a total of forty years. He gave the font cover in memory of his wife and also the brass lectern. Their graves are in the churchyard.