St Mary

A Norman (12th century) church, St Mary’s is rich in interesting features including the famous ‘Bed Bug’ weather vane which is said to have been put there to commemorate King John’s fateful visit to the village.

About this church

St Mary’s church is, as its appearance suggests, Norman (12th century) in origin and is a building of significant historical interest. There has been a church on the site for over 1000 years, the present church being built on the site of a former Saxon minster.

Much of the present building dates from a major rebuilding in the 19th century.

There are many interesting features including its unusual weather vane which is affectionately known locally as The Bedbug. Legend has it that its design was determined by King John, who on one occasion being prevented from reaching his hunting lodge on Cottington Hill by fog had to spend a night in the local inn where his night was badly disturbed by bedbugs!

The church is open every day for visitors, for those wanting a quiet place to sit and think and for those wishing to pray.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Level access to the main areas
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets in church

Other nearby churches

St Peter

St Peter’s church is a small red brick chapel style church on the west side of the A339 next to the village hall.


St Paul

St Paul’s church, Ashford Hill is an elegant Victorian gothic church with a spire whose foundations were laid in October 1844.

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