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History and Heritage

St Mary’s church is located just off the Market Square in Whittlesey. The impressive tall spire can be seen across the Fens and is a well-known landmark. The first church on this site was consecrated in 1128 but it was ravaged by fire and was rebuilt over the next 250 years. The church houses a restored Conacher & Co three manual organ. St. Mary’s has many stained glass windows including the impressive west window which depicts three local Saints, Guthlac, Hermit of Crowland, Audrey/Etheldreda, founder of a monastery at Ely and Edmund, King and Martyr enshrined at Bury St Edmunds. The church also houses a memorial to Sir Harry Smith, the Hero of Aliwal, who served in the Peninsular War under the Duke of Wellington.

The church plays a lively role in the town. St. Mary’s location ensures it is a prominent physical presence in the town centre. It hosts an art exhibition and a beautiful Christmas tree festival. It joins with the town to provide refreshments for the Straw Bear Festival and Autumn extravaganza.

St. Mary’s has a strong choral tradition with a thriving choir and organists. We have an important role in the civic life of the town hosting many services including the town Remembrance Service, Civic Services and Christmas Services and other major town celebrations and events. Pupils from each of the schools visit to complete their school projects. All of the schools also use the church as a venue for their annual Christmas services.

If you decide to visit St Mary’s you are assured of a friendly welcome.