Church of St Mary the Virgin, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

St Mary's Street, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1DX
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Opening times:
Opened daily, Monday to Saturday, 10am - 4pm, by a wonderful team of volunteers. If the church is closed this will be due to an unexpected volunteer absence. For further information please contact the Local Community Officer via email [email protected]
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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 twelfth-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 fourteenth-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 eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Warmth and richness is also provided by superb Victorian coloured tiles on the floor.  Lifting your eyes upwards, you will see the wonderful fifteenth-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.


Thanks to support from National Lottery players and CCT donors, a new project (The Past, Present and Future of St Mary’s Stained-Glass) will repair, protect and highlight the exceptional stained glass collection, and engage audiences with enhanced interpretation and an exciting programme of events and workshops.

The leaflet below lists the craft skills activities and workshops for 2024:

Heritage Skills Series at St Mary's


Workshops are bookable via the What's On section of the website.  


During August, St Mary’s is partnering with Shrewsbury Arts Trail and Shrewsbury Cathedral to host a festival celebrating the history of the church and its stained and painted glass collections. The festival was a huge success in 2023 and welcomed close to six thousand visitors into the church.

The Stained Glass Festival poster below provides details of what's happeninig during August 2024. We hope you can join us.  

Stained Glass Festival Poster


LETTERS HAND MADE - 12-31 August 2024

During the Stained Glass Festival 2024 one of the featured exhibitions will be run by the Calligraphy & Lettering Arts Society (CLAS). 

The Calligraphy & Lettering Arts Society is a UK registered charity that aims to educate the public in the practice, appreciation and use of all forms of calligraphy and lettering arts. Its membership is drawn from all over the world and represents all levels of ability from the professional Fellows to beginners.

2024 marks the 30th anniversary of CLAS, which will be celebrated with Letters Hand Made, a travelling exhibition of work created by CLAS members. This will be the seventh exhibition that CLAS has organised over the years.

In addition to Shrewsbury, the exhibition will travel to London, Wells and Halifax between April and October 2024.

CLAS will also run a demonstration and workshop at St Mary's using the script in the stained glass windows to examine different forms of text, styles of penmanship, and calligraphy techniques.



The Café at St Mary's Church, Shrewsbury, run by the Battlefield 1403 farm shop and deli, is now open Monday - Saturday 10am - 4pm. - See more at:


Explore magnificent Jesse window in this church up online here:

The Café at St Mary's Church, Shrewsbury, run by the Battlefield 1403 farm shop and deli, is now open Monday - Saturday 10am - 4pm. - See more at: