St Mary

St Marys is a beautiful Neo Gothic church designed by Edward Welby Pugin following in the footsteps of his father, AWN Pugin, who designed the Houses of Parliament and other notable buildings.

About this church

The arcaded interior is richly decorated with carvings, including the magnificent altar and reredos. Red, Galway green and white marbles are used to striking decorative effect and harmonise with the infusion of light from the stained glass windows. A wonderful place for quiet contemplation.

The words high above the sanctuary in St Mary’s read ‘Lift up your hands in the holy place and bless the Lord’.

It is praise of God that is infused into every stone, window and tapestry of the church. Everything tells a story of clergy and laity seeking to show their enduring love of God.

From the original Edward Welby Pugin design, with its beautiful rich decoration of colours and elegant vaulting arches; to the magnificent altar and reredos with their different coloured marbles of red, Galway green and white; to the hand crafted mosaics and embroidery step markers; to the pencilled fish hidden under the font by children.

In St Mary’s the quiet joy of God enters your heart and points out our true purpose and the meaning of our lives. The air itself is sweet with the smell of incense and the smoke of candles, rising upwards to heaven.

Since its solemn opening 150 years ago in 1866 and the completion of its landmark tower and spire in 1888, St Mary’s has been ‘an ornament to the town’.

Come and pray in the quiet of the Lady Chapel and rest a while in the rose garden. Feel the love of the hardworking labourers of Barrow made manifest in stone.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches


Furness Abbey

The impressive remains of an abbey founded in 1123 by Stephen, later King of England, including much of the east end and west tower of the church, the ornately decorated chapter house and the cloister buildings.


St Mary

Designed by Paley and Austin and constructed between 1882-1885, this imposing sandstone building occupies a spectacular elevated position behind Dalton Castle and Market Place.

St Mary the Virgin & St Michael

St Mary and St Michael's church is said to have very early origins, as 9th and 10th century richly carved crosses were found on the site and are now on display in the church.

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