Church of St Mary the Virgin, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Address: St Mary's Street, Dogpole, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1DX
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Open Monday to Saturday, 10:00am – 4:00pm up to the 30th April. From the 1st May until 8th December open Monday to Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm.
Keyholder information, accessibility and facilities

An ancient church with world famous stained glass

The spire of St Mary’s is one of the tallest in England and for over 500 years it has dominated the skyline of Shrewsbury's old town. In 1739, showman Robert Cadman attempted to slide from it, head first, using a rope and a grooved breastplate. His engraved obituary stands outside the west door.

The church is now the only complete Medieval church in Shrewsbury. It dates from Saxon times and has beautiful additions from the 12th-century onwards. Inside, the atmosphere is peaceful with the soaring stone arches giving way to the church's great treasure - its stained glass.

There are panels in glorious colour including the world-famous 14th-century 'Jesse window’ filled with figures of Old Testament kings and prophets, and scenes from the life of St Bernard - a Medieval cartoon strip that shows him ridding flies from an abbey, riding a mule and curing the sick.

No other church in the country has a collection to equal it. Most of the glass was brought from elsewhere, much of it from Europe, by two remarkable clergymen, and installed in St Mary’s during the 18th - and 19th-centuries.

Warmth and richness is also provided by superb Victorian coloured tiles on the floor; and lifting your eyes upwards, you will see the wonderful 15th-century carved oak ceiling of the nave, with a profusion of animals, birds and angels.

Other details delight you wherever you look: an ancient font, Medieval stone carving on the arcades, interesting monuments...The beauty and variety of this church and its contents, all on a grand scale, blend into an uplifting and memorable whole.

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How to find us

To locate this church on a map, click on the 'View on map' link that appears below the address information at the top of the page.

Road directions

Shrewsbury town centre location, off St Mary’s Street.

Public transport information

Nearest railway station: Shrewsbury (15 minutes walk). Bus route numbers 33/435/492.

OS Reference No.

SJ 494 126

What’s on & news

News

16/07/14 Wendy Leaney impressed the judges with her skillfully sculpted creation made out of homemade lime and elderflower cordial

See more events and news

Nearby attractions

Church of St Mary Magdalene,  Battlefield, Shropshire

Church of St Mary Magdalene, Battlefield, Shropshire
A memorial church to a bloody battle

St Martin's Church,  Preston Gubbals, Shropshire

St Martin's Church, Preston Gubbals, Shropshire
A survivor of re-modelling

Haughmond Abbey

Haughmond Abbey
Extensive remains of Augustinian abbey, including abbots' quarters, refectory & cloister. Chapter house frontage with 12th & 14th century carving & statuary, timber roof c.1500. Displays, picnic area.

Attingham Park

Attingham Park
National Trust property

See more nearby churches & attractions

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

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What’s on at this church

The list below provides brief summaries of events coming up at this church. You can find out more about each event by clicking on individual event titles in the summary list.

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Image gallery

Click on images to view larger

Images from Flickr

The CCT is grateful to the Flickr group, Friends of the Churches Conservation Trust, for the images shown here. CCT is not responsible for the quality or content of images taken from Flickr.


Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Useful information

Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out more about this church and the CCT before you visit?

You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walk round guides we have for this church.



 

 

 

PDF iconA walk round guide for Church of St Mary the Virgin, Shrewsbury (PDF, 1.2mb)

This short, full colour walk round guide contains a floor plan of the church and highlights of things to see during your visit. You can purchase a printed copy of this from the church (50p) or download in advance (free/optional donation).


PDF iconShropshire & Staffordshire County Guide (PDF, 4.75mb)

This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches CCT cares for in Shropshire & Staffordshire. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.

Nearby CCT churches

Church of St Mary Magdalene,  Battlefield, Shropshire

Church of St Mary Magdalene, Battlefield, Shropshire A memorial church to a bloody battle Battlefield, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 3DB
See church page

St Martin's Church,  Preston Gubbals, Shropshire

St Martin's Church, Preston Gubbals, Shropshire A survivor of re-modelling Preston Gubbals, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 3AN
See church page

St Andrew's Church,  Wroxeter, Shropshire

St Andrew's Church, Wroxeter, Shropshire A Saxon church built on the Roman site of Viroconium Wroxeter, Wroxeter, Shropshire, SY5 6PH
See church page

Nearby attractions

Haughmond Abbey

Haughmond Abbey Extensive remains of Augustinian abbey, including abbots' quarters, refectory & cloister. Chapter house frontage with 12th & 14th century carving & statuary, timber roof c.1500. Displays, picnic area. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/haughmond-abbey

Buildwas Abbey

Buildwas Abbey The impressive ruins of this Cistercian abbey have an idyllic setting near the River Severn. Unaltered 12th century church, beautiful vaulted and tile-floored chapter house and re-opened crypt chapel. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/buildwas-abbey

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Have you visited this church?

Why not share your experience with us?

Comments

  1. Anonymous (01 Apr 2011, 20:45)

    I love this church. It is beautiful and I find it spiritually uplifting just to step inside. Every time I visit it I see something new. It makes me wonder how a church congregation can exist in the centre of Shrewsbury yet not use this church - surely there can be no better place to worship than here?!

  2. Graham Theodore (16 Nov 2012, 14:45)

    Yes, and as a supporter I feel lucky to have such a lovely Church within reachable distance from where I live.

  3. Diana Gardner (12 Mar 2013, 19:31)

    Diana Gardner (Wilkinson) I would like to know if any of the stained glass windows were produced by Horace or Alfred Wilkinson. Both these stained glass artists were working on windows in the 19th-20th century.

    I am related to these two gentlemen and would love to hear about their work.

  4. Ken Hannaford (20 Sep 2013, 14:39)

    I regularly visit the church, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to hear the organ recitals. When I am retired I shall make the journey more frequently to attend these.
    I have made some photos of the church windows available via You Tube, and put my music for a short composition called "Requiem for Troubled Souls" with these. The music is intended for people who may want to use music to help them reflect but have little time to do so.

    I would love to hear this in the setting of St. Mary's one day!

  5. Arthur Rope (29 Nov 2013, 16:13)

    The Shrewsbury stained glass artist Margaret Rope worshipped in this church in the early years of the 20th century and was no doubt inspired by the wonderful stained glass here. She was also the artist responsible for the painted altar front in the Lady Chapel here and other wood painting in the entry to Shrewsbury Cathedral, which also contains many fine windows by her. Also in St Mary's, on the south wall, is a memorial to her father, a Shrewsbury doctor, who died young "worn out with tending to the poor", it is said. After his death, his widow took all but one of her 6 children over to the Roamn Catholic church. Margaret eventually became a nun in the Carmelite order. see www.arthur.rope.clara.net

  6. Christine Orban (13 May 2014, 17:47)

    Beautiful church, the windows are breathtaking indeed, also the elaborately carved roof. Sadly pressure of time did not allow me to stay as long as I would have liked on this occasion, but I intend to return soon.
    Worthy of special note is St. Nicholas' altar, with pictorial medallions of glass and multicoloured fragments - lovely tranquil corner for the visitor seeking spiritual refreshment.
    Custodians most welcoming and friendly. Highly recommended.

  7. Christine Orban (13 May 2014, 17:48)

    Beautiful church, the windows are breathtaking indeed, also the elaborately carved roof. Sadly pressure of time did not allow me to stay as long as I would have liked on this occasion, but I intend to return soon.
    Worthy of special note is St. Nicholas' altar, with pictorial medallions of glass and multicoloured fragments - lovely tranquil corner for the visitor seeking spiritual refreshment.
    Custodians most welcoming and friendly. Highly recommended.

  8. Joseph Morrison (22 May 2014, 20:01)

    Had a very interesting guided tour by an american volunteer there, Catherine I think her name was. Just want to say thanks to her for making my day enjoyable

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Keyholder

If the access information for this church is listed as 'Keyholder nearby', this means that the key is kept by one of our invaluable volunteer 'keyholders', who usually live just a short walk from the church and can give visitors the key; sometimes this is a nearby hotel, pub, library, art gallery or other venue. You will find instructions explaining how to get the key when you arrive at the church.

Disabled access

Wheelchair access is possible from the church yard through the west porch door to all areas of the church, with two steps to the sanctuary/altar and Jesse Window. Access ramps to the coffee shop are in place.

Facilities

Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating or running water meaning that they can be cold, and very rarely have toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor. We do apologise for any inconvenience the lack of facilities may cause.