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Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin

St. Mary's Church, Ashford

The Church was first recorded around the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 when the first building was situated on this site.

The blocked up window which can be seen on the church’s south wall is the earliest known part left from the church built in the 14th century.

Between 1475 and 1483 the church we see today was completed by Sir John Fogge who was at that time “the lord of the manor of Repton. He died in 1490. His tomb stands in the church near to the high alter. The church before his time had a much smaller tower. This was again made higher and now stands at 120 feet. The vanes on the top are still the highest building in Ashford.

In 1827 the galleries were added and were mostly used by pupils of the grammar school which was housed in the building which is now the museum. Smaller galleries were in place as far back as 1616.

The churchyard has some buildings that also go back to John Fogge’s time and it is now at the centre of Ashford’s main conservation area.

One interesting grave stone is to commemorate a local family. “Old William”, William Walters who died on June 17 1816 aged 90 years and his wife Mary who died the year before worked as domestic servants for a local wealthy family for over 40 years and spent their lifetime in the town.

List Entries

Name: PARISH CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN

List entry Number: 1071114 ➚

Grade: I

Date first listed: 24-Sep-1951

750/1/43 THE CHURCHYARD 750/2/43 PARISH CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN 24-SEP-51

I Parish church. Late C13 church enlarged and heightened in the C14 with the central tower heightened and the walls and roofs of the nave, chancel and transepts heightened in the C15. The width of the nave was increased in 1837 and extended by one bay in 1860. A vestry was added in 1927.

National Grid Reference: TR0102042744

Refer to List Entry on Historic England for full details

Name: CHURCHYARD OF PARISH CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN

List entry Number: 1184294 ➚

Grade: II

Date first listed: 04-Jun-1976

  1. 5344 THE CHURCHYARD Churchyard of Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin TR 0142 NW TR 0042 NE 1 & 2/43B II GV
  2. This contains some C18 table tombs, some C18 headstones with cherub, skull, hour-glass or book of judgement motifs, some oval bodystones and some early C19 headstones with shell and scroll motifs.

All the items in the Churchyard form a group, together with Nos 51 to 61 (odd). 61A, 63 to 67 (odd), 67A, 69 to 71 (odd), 75 and the rear part of No 75 High Street.

Listing NGR: TR0103242714

Name: THE RAILINGS OF THE CHURCHYARD OF THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN

List entry Number: 1362843 ➚

Grade: II

Date first listed: 18-Jun-1971

  1. 5344 THE CHURCHYARD The Railings of the Churchyard of The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin TR 0142 NW TR 0042 NE 1&2/43A 18.6.71 II GV
  2. Iron railings of arrowhead pattern, completely encircling the Churchyard, made by the firm of Dunday of Ashford and erected between 1835 and 1837. They have the name of the maker on them and form an unusually long expanse of high quality.

All the items in the Churchyard form a group, together with Nos 51 to 61 (odd) 61A, 63 to 67 (odd), 67A, 69 to 71 (odd) 75 and the rear part of No 75, High Street.

Listing NGR: TR0105442741