‘It is one of the most interesting buildings in
the history of the architectural crafts
….it is unique.’
Romantic Affinities, Craft Magazine
St Mary’s was built between 1840 and 1842 under the personal
direction of Sara Losh. She based the form of the church on a Roman
basilica, a rectangular nave with a semicircular apse, a building
type that was used by the first Christians for worship and which
Sara had seen on her ‘grand tour’ of the Continent.
simple building form was at odds with the prevailing English Gothic
style but it suited Sara’s modest technical skills and
budget. Her workforce was drawn from local labour, including the
stonemason William Hindson and his sons who, it is believed, Sara
sent to Italy to study techniques and historical models.
simple building Sara created a highly original work – the
product of her exuberant imagination. The church is full of symbolic
ornament and carvings some of which Sara carried out herself. St
Mary’s embodies many of the attributes of the Arts and Crafts
Movement and yet predates it by some 50 years.
Thanks to the generosity
of many people St Mary’s has been
restored and refurbished. The success of the appeal has resulted
in not only the roof being repaired but also the interior redecorated
along with new heating and lighting installations and a new vestry.
From our website you can find useful information on St
Mary's Church inclucding its original patron Sarah
Losh, historical details on The Church itself,
a brief guide to the Symbolism and
language around the church, plus Visiting and Contact information.