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St Mary's Church

A church has existed on this site since at least 1282. In 1710 the parishioners collected subscriptions and local craftsmen turned their hands and feet to church building. The present church, was built in completed in 1715, to a design by John James, a leading architect of the times and an associate of Sir Christopher Wren. However, there was not sufficient money to complete the church, and the tower was not finished until 1747, when Lancelot Dowbiggin, a City joiner and surveyor, completed it, perhaps to his own design, following the general plan of James. Memorials inside and outside the building tell of the vision and philanthropy of former worshippers, of sacrifice, and of faith in times of suffering and adversity. The organ, built and installed by John Byfield in 1764, is a superb example of 18th century English organ building. Its tonal qualities have been retained to the present day, so that its sound is much as Handel and his London contemporaries would have heard and appreciated.


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