The building

A complex mix of 12th to 15th century ragstone and flint, it suffered a major fire in 1297, calling down the wrath of the Archbishop of Canterbury upon the miscreants. The post-fire rebuilding incorporated what was left of the original building at the eastern end of the current St Mary’s and the church was extended. The exact location of the Anglo-Saxon church that preceded it is not yet known, but stones from that period can be seen on the massive pillars separating the nave from the tower. The battlemented tower with its small turret on the north eastern corner dates from the late 14th or 15th centuries, and houses a fine ring of eight bells. The porch, which the Friends of St Mary’s have recently restored, is 15th century.