Sawbridgeworth Church, Hertfordshire

Like so many other churches in England, the origins of Great St. Mary’s date to the Saxon period. However, as is usual, nothing remains from that date.

The earliest remains, which is the bulk of the body of the church, dates to the 13th Century. The tower was a very late addition dating to the Tudor period, the last major work being the brick tower staircase.

Of course, the Victorians got their hands on the church and renovated it which gives the church a rather-too-neat look and makes it feel less venerable than it actually is. The church today is a bit hidden off the main drag of Sawbridgeworth, but is worth trying to seek out.

Incidentally, there is some debate over whether the church is Great St. Mary’s (singular) or Great St. Marys’ (plural), why the ‘Great’ is there at all, and even which St. Mary is being referred to!

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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