Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

St. Mary's Church (Shrewsbury)

St. Marys is one of the impressive churches in the splendid old market town of Shrewsbury.

It was founded about 960, although the present building is largely mediaeval, but with Norman sedilia. The spire is 222 feet high, making it the third tallest in England.

St. Mary's is situated in a sort of close known as St. Mary's Place, just off Pride Hill, one of the main streets of the town.

It has a superb collection of stained glass, including the magnificent Jesse window at the East end, which dates from about 1350 and is one of only eight windows of its type in England. It came from Old St. Chad's after that church's collapse in the 18th century.

In the North chapel there is a memorial to Admiral Benbow, a local man.

The spire fell in 1894, allowing the vicar to announce that it was God's judgement on the people of Shrewsbury for planning a memorial to the town's famous but controversial son, Charles Darwin. The spire was, however, soon replaced.

On the West tower is a plaque commemorating a steeplejack named Robert Cadman, who plunged to his death in 1739 while walking a tightrope that was strung from the tower across the River Severn to Gay Meadow.

St. Mary's is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

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