Heritage Open Days in September
St Mary’s is the site of over 1100 years of continual Christian worship physically dating from the 11th/13th century Norman, extended in the 14th-16th century (Tudor Royal connections), and described as one of the finest small churches in England. It has an extraordinary collection of nationally significant medieval wall paintings including a rare surviving example of the martyrdom of Thomas Becket and an example of a Renaissance Christ , 15th century English stained glass by John Thornton of Coventry. Gaze upon the newly discovered 15th century niche & 13th century wall painting. The wall paintings have been the central part of a recently completed £1.1 million NLHF funded conservation project.
The 17th century part is a rare example of an English Renaissance Church, with an exceptional east window by the leading stained glass artist Abraham Van Linge, and many fine 17th century monuments including the exceptionally fine St John monument; the work of the crown mason Nicholas Stone.
The spectacular painted St John Triptych was commissioned by Sir John St John by the Royal court painter William Larkin and dates to 1615. The church through the St John family in the 15th century has a direct connection with Margaret Beaufort (their half-sister) the most powerful and important woman in England, mother of Henry VII and can be seen on the exquisite Tudor nave ceiling.
The newly restored 18th century Reredos will also be on display.
The Bell Tower may be open on the weekend.
Friday 8 September: 11.00 am - 4.00 pm Saturday 9 September: 11.00 am - 4.00 pm Sunday 10 September: 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm Friday 15 September: 11.00 am - 4.00 pm Saturday 16 September: 11.00 am - 4.00 pm Sunday 17 September: 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm