St. Mary’s Church: A Timeless Treasure in the Heart of Bideford


St. Mary’s Church is a historic church located in the town of Bideford, North Devon, England.

The church is a Grade II Star listed building and is known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and its important role in the local community.

The church is a Grade II Star listed building with stunning architecture and has a rich history and an important role in the local community.
The church dates back to the 12th century with renovations over time.
Hosts many gatherings & events during the week

Featured Places to Stay Near Bideford


St Mary of Bideford dedicated by Bishop Bronescome in 1259, was built on the site of an older and smaller Saxon Church known to have been in existence before 1107. Apart from the Tower, the present church was entirely rebuilt in the nineteenth century and was consecrated by Bishop Philpotts on 12 January 1865.

Over the centuries, the church underwent several changes and renovations, including the addition of a new nave, aisles, and a tower in the 15th century. The church also suffered significant damage during the English Civil War, when it was used as a garrison by Parliamentary troops.

The current church was designed by architect Edward Ashworth in 1862-1865 and was built over the ruins of a pre-Norman cob and wattle building. The Norman church was erected by Sir Richard Grenville in 1259, replacing the old Saxon church, and was replaced due to its dilapidated condition. Evidence of the pre-Norman building was found during the rebuilding. The silver trowel used during the foundation stone laying is displayed near the pulpit.

Design and Features

Today, the church is a popular tourist attraction and is visited by thousands of people every year. One of the most striking features of St. Mary’s Church is its tower, which rises 132 feet above the town and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. The tower is also home to a set of eight bells, which are rung regularly for church services and special occasions.

Another notable feature of the church is its stained glass windows, which date back to the 19th century. The east windows depict scenes from the crucifixion of Christ and are considered to be some of the finest examples of medieval stained glass in the country.

In addition to its architectural and artistic treasures, St. Mary’s Church also has a rich cultural and religious history. The church has been a centre of Christian worship in Bideford for centuries and has played an important role in the community’s spiritual and social life. The church has also been the site of many important events, including the baptism of the famous navigator, Sir Richard Grenville.

If you would like to know more about St Mary’s Church, all the latest information is available on their website here.

And Finally…

Today, St. Mary’s Church continues to be an active centre of worship and community life. The church hosts a wide range of events throughout the year, including concerts and community gatherings. It is also home to several community groups, including children’s groups and Friday Diner.

St. Mary’s Church is a remarkable example of medieval architecture and art and an important part of Bideford’s cultural and religious heritage.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply looking for a place to connect with the local community, a visit to St. Mary’s Church is a must while you’re in the area.

Author Matt Ogborne
Matt Ogborne
About the Author

Welcome to! I’m Matt, a seasoned explorer and avid fan of Bideford and the broader North Devon area. With over a decade of consistent family visits, virtually every weekend, I’ve immersed myself in the rich history and vibrant culture Bideford & North Devon.

On this site, you’ll find a wealth of knowledge amassed from my adventures here. From in-depth local guides to engaging blog posts about Bideford. Whether you’re looking for recommendations on things to do or guidance on where to stay we have you covered. Join me as we delve into the heart of Bideford, North Devon – a town that’s more than just a destination, but an experience waiting to be discovered.

Do you want to see your favourite Bideford attraction, place to stay, event or activity listed here? Contact Us!