St Mary's Church has long been admired not only by those fortunate enough to live in Ashwell.
"The glory of the church is its west tower … clunch built and more ambitious than any other of a Hertfordshire church … it has never been explained why just Ashwell should have gone to such an enormous expense." William Pevsner "Buildings of England: Hertfordshire
"Ashwell's tower thunders over this prim commuter village …" Simon Jenkins "Britain's Best Churches"
The tower is like a Brooklyn skyscraper …" The Shell Guide to English Parish Churches
The church is the centre of our beautiful village and is a symbol of local identity and of pride. According to Pevsner the chancel was apparently completed in 1368 and the whole building by 1381. It is believed the tower was much shorter and greatly extended after the Battle of Agincourt. St Mary's is not only famous for its tower, but also, of course, for its graffiti which is unique in England, including a complete picture of medieval St Paul's and a moving account of dreadful natural catastrophes of the great plague of 1349-51 and a terrible storm of 1361.
St Mary's is not only a beautiful historical building but a living church offering daily prayer and worship to God and offering hospitality hope and solace to people around Ashwell and around the world.
The Friends of St Mary's aim to bring together in common fellowship all those who care for this church and help to preserve maintain and repair its fabric.Our funds are used exclusively to repair the church fabric and are not used for any other purpose.
We would invite all of those who love this church to join us in our work. On this website we provide some basic facts and figures and to encourage you to become a friend of St Mary's.