|Building of Willen Church|
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|After the civil war, the manor of Willen was acquired by Robert Hammond. He was the Colonel of the Parliamentary army , who had custody of King Charles I in Carisbrooke castle. On his death,his three daughters inherited the estate and in 1673 sold it to Dr . Richard Busby, famed headmaster of Westminster School allegedly for £12,000.|
|Dr Busby demolished the ancient church and commissioned by Robert Hooke to build the present church in 1680. Willen church is Hooke's only entire building remaining in existence, though the Monument in the City of London is believed to be his work.The final account for the building was settled in 1682 at £2,202.|
|The church at Willen, dedicated to St . Mary Magdalene, consists of a nave, chancel, and west tower flanked north and south by a vestry. The interior has furniture and decoration of the period:a fine plaster ceiling in the form of a barrel vault,wooden panelling,marble font and a black and white marble floor.|
|The font by Bates, is sited on axis within the centre aisle and comprises a white marble bowl with carvings of heads of cherubs facing East and West . The bowl is set on a black veined marble baluster .The cover for the font by Grinling Gibbons comprises an octagonal dome rising to a pedestal, on which is mounted a vase and above this is a carving of a group of fruit and foliage. Beneath the dome is a frieze with a series of eight identical cherubs ' heads.|
|Access to the first level is by a narrow spiral stone steps from the North Vestry. Thereafter the climb is via fixed vertical ladders!
The three bells made by Richard Chandler in 1683 are shored up for safety as the frame is very dilapidated.
|In 1867 the eastern apse was built , stained glass added and a complete church restoration took place.
The whole church was enclosed by a brick boundary wall entered through gates at the west by a tree lined avenue leading to the vicarage.