St Mary

It may come as a surprise to you that St Mary's is only about 150 years old.

About this church

This greenstone church was built in 1854-55, at a cost of £1,300 which was raised in the village by public subscription including an important contribution raised by Mrs Edward Rawnsley of Raithby Hall, who embroidered and sold exquisite needlework for the cause. 

The embattled tower on the west side of the church with its pinnacles and gargoyles can be seen from many points in the parish, particularly when the churchyard trees are not in leaf. In the latter part of the 19th century a man fell from the top of the tower. Incredibly he picked himself up and walked away!
Inside the church very little remains from the previous structure, although at the entrance to the chancel on the left hand side there is the start of an incongruous stairway which seems to lead to nowhere. This is an old rood stairway which was preserved by the Victorian restorers.

The chancel was restored through a donation from the 19th Lord Willoughby de Eresby who was patron of the living. The stone pulpit was presented by Revd John Lonsdale, and the stained glass windows in the nave by various Victorian parishioners. In the east window over the altar can be seen two old fragments of glass, showing a bishop in red and a saint in blue. On the south side there is a window in memory of Revd Henry Hansell, a former curate. The seven sided font dates from the 17th century.

In 1874 the new choir stalls were added and the organ chamber was built. In 1880 the church was lit by gas, at a cost of £53. Eleven years later an ancient Italian altar cloth was presented to St. Mary's by Mrs. Hutchinson, a Hundleby resident at that time.

In the late 19th century there was great excitement when it was announced that a special display for the harvest festival would include several new innovations. There were to be some most unusual exhibits, some of them permanent, with the highlight being a new reredos. One parishioner, who could not wait for the service, entered the church beforehand and searched frantically behind pillars, in the vestry, even under the pew seats. Later he was heard to say to his friend 'I never did find this wonderful red ‘oss. Where WAS the red ‘oss?'

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven
  • Social heritage stories

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Ramp or level access available on request
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

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