St Mary the Virgin

A thrilling experience: Sir Ninian Comper’s masterpiece built between 1908 and 1930 is a free essay in the gothic style fearlessly mixed with classical appropriations.

About this church

Externally the massive ironstone tower which can be seen for miles around provides the vertical thrust against the horizontal of the long nave / chancel.

The latter has little to differentiate the spaces externally but it is punctuated with two very different treatments of smaller towers, one with an open arcade the other a needle sharp spire.

Internally the clarity of the structure, filled with light is suborned by fantastical decoration especially in the chancel area, and in the vaulted ceiling with its plaster pendants (some gilded and painted blue which was intended throughout).

In the east end you encounter a gilded rood screen, an exotic organ case, and gilded baldacchino and alter frontal.

All is designed by Comper with little else beside. His masterpiece: a counterblast to the modern movement if ever there was one.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

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

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One of the few late 19th century Catholic churches in Northamptonshire, the church is distinguished by some highly original details and has a largely intact and lavishly finished interior.

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Built in 1874-5 for Wellingborough’s long established Independent (or Congregational) cause, its most striking feature is its ovoid shape, most unusual for a British place of worship.

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St Mary the Virgin

Built of local ironstone, St Mary's dates almost entirely from the 14th century, with the nave and chancel from the beginning of the century and the tower and spire from about 50 years later.

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