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St Mary's Church Nottingham City Centre

High Pavement
Nottingham
Nottinghamshire
NG1 1HN

Tel: 0115 948 3658

Add St Mary's Church Nottingham City Centre to your Itinerary

St Mary's Church Nottingham City Centre

The present St Mary’s is the third church on the site; nothing remains of the earlier two but the structure provides a living reminder of the Saxon Borough in the same way that Nottingham Castle recalls the later Norman town.

Constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries, the building is an iconic example of the prosperity that Nottingham enjoyed in this period. Its magnificent Perpendicular architecture - massive tower, slender columns, huge windows and alabaster monuments - all attest to the wealth poured into its construction by the guilds, merchants, and gentry of Nottingham society. Such people were eager both to ensure the safety of their souls after death and to demonstrate their growing status within Nottingham in a visible and impressive fashion. From this time forward (and probably long before) St Mary’s has been the setting for many civic occasions, such as the election and swearing-in of the Mayor and Sheriff of Nottingham.

The Reformation of the 16th century and the Civil Wars of the 17th stripped St Mary’s of its medieval splendour but not its great importance to the people of Nottingham. The last two hundred years have seen many sensitive restorations and additions, for example the splendid west front, the chapel of the Holy Spirit by Temple Moore, glowing stained glass and fine examples of the work of George Gilbert Scott and Bodley & Garner. In this century many facilities have been upgraded and a stunning new stone floor has been constructed in the nave to a design by Tess Jaray RA.

In the churchyard the grave of George Africanus, a West African former slave who became a successful entrepreneur in Nottingham in the late 18th-early 19th century has become a focus of much local interest in recent years.

Today St Mary’s is the largest remaining medieval building in the city of Nottingham and is listed Grade 1. At the start of 2016 a new range of guidebooks, trails and explorer bags suitable for children and adults, which have been sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will be available to assist visitors to interpret the building and learn about the people associated with its long and fascinating history.

What's Nearby

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