Explore: St Mary's Church
Take a closer look at one of the fantastic attractions included with the Explorer Pass each month with our monthly feature Explore. Find out all about what the attraction has to offer and everything you need to know to plan a visit.
This month we are finding out about one of the largest churches in Britain – St Mary’s Church in Warwick.
St Mary's Church
St Mary’s Church is an historic landmark, tourist attraction and busy parish church in the centre of the beautiful medieval town of Warwick.
Suitable for Rainy Days
St Mary’s was founded on its present site in 1123 by Roger de Newburgh, the Earl of Warwick.
The Chancel, Vestry and Chapter House
The Chancel, Vestry and Chapter House were rebuilt in the Fourteenth Century by Thomas Beauchamp, and this section of the building represents one of the highest peaks of English Gothic architecture.
The glorious Beauchamp Chapel was built in the Fifteenth Century to house the tomb of Richard Beauchamp, the Earl of Warwick and one of the richest and most powerful people in the history of our country.
The Nave and Tower were destroyed in the great fire of Warwick in 1694, and rebuilt by 1704 by the brothers Francis and William Smith, builder architects of Warwick.
The Crypt still remains from the original Norman building, and houses a rare example of a medieval ducking stool.
St Mary’s is one of the largest churches in the country and has been a place of worship for over 1,000 years. As a busy parish church with a strong musical tradition it is an enchanting place to visit right in the centre of Warwick.
The building is bursting with history – from the Gothic architecture, beautiful stained glass, famous tombs and Norman crypt – it will have huge appeal to anyone with an interest in medieval history or architecture.
The church offers guided tours with knowledgeable guides who really bring the story of St Mary’s to life. Tours cost £3 per person and need to be booked in advance.
One of the highlights of the church is its 174ft tall tower which is open to visitors throughout the year (weather permitting). The views from the top are spectacular and well worth a look. A map is provided to identify the landmarks that are visible from the top of the tower over the glorious Warwickshire countryside.
The charge to climb the tower is £3 for adults and £1.50 for children (or free with an Explorer Pass!). The tower isn’t suitable for children under 8 years old.
Find Out More?
Monday – Saturday
10:00am – 4:30pm (Last entry 4pm)
12:30 – 4:30pm (Last entry 4pm)
There may be times when the church needs to close due to unforseen circumstances during these hours.
Tel: 01926 403940
And don’t forget that entry to St Mary’s Church Tower is FREE with the Explorer Pass!
You can find out more about how the pass works here.