St Mary

WiltshireSTEEPLEASHTONStMary(church)1

St Mary’s church gleams a golden hue in the setting sunlight which takes your breath away, even without its once high spire it dominates the village scape and stands out above everything else in the Steeple Ashton vale.

About this church

This ‘knobbly church’ as Edward Thomas describes it fills the visitor with awe and wonder. Inside you will find slender columns and magnificent vaulting, wonderfully carved corbels and the story of its missing spire. This magnificent church was built in the late middle ages to replace an earlier church, the tower of which remains.

Two wealthy woollen merchants paid for the building of the aisles and the congregation for the nave. The cloth trade fell away from the village so that the project was not completed, an aspect that adds to its charm. The chancel was rebuilt in the Victorian era when the pews and the pulpit were replaced.

During the Civil War it was visited by a body of men from the Parliamentarian army under the leadership by Sir William Waller; they are reputed to have stabled their horses in the box pews. They certainly left their mark, defacing corbels and smashing the stained glass windows. The villagers lovingly collected much of the broken glass and later new windows were made which included a patchwork of the bits and pieces.

Step through the wonderful old door with it original sanctuary knocker You cannot help but stand in awe at its magnificence; there is so much to see and enjoy from the carving on the nave roof to the corbel of the man with two right hands; from the Victorian pews to the two memorials to Anne Wainhouse, our 18th century heroine reputed to have died of a broken heart.

Yet with all this to see you will experience stillness and peace and grace.

Our children’s corner and our bats reflect the fact that we are a lively church ready to move to the twenty-first century as we plan the installation of modern facilities.

I love the church for its beauty and for its spirituality, I have known it since my earliest childhood but even now, returning home, the sight of it never fails to give me a buzz.

Key Features

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

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Level access to the main areas
  • Car park at church
  • Accessible toilets in church
  • Café in church

Other nearby churches

WiltshireEDINGTONStMaryStKatherineAllSaints(church)1

St Mary, St Katharine & All Saints

With its unusual dedication to St Mary, St Katharine & All Saints, Edington's battlemented church is of a size and splendour out of all proportion to the quiet little village in which it stands.

WiltshireTROWBRIDGEStJames(robertcutts)1

St James

This large Grade I church with a spire is Perpendicular.

WiltshireSEENDHolyCross(church)1

Holy Cross

Another Grade I church, it was primarily built by John Stokys whose brass and that of his wife of 1498 are to be found in the north aisle.

Supported by National Churches Trust, for people who love church buildings