St Mary's Church


St. Mary's church from Burgate.
St. Mary's church from Burgate.
St Mary's tower and porch
St. Mary's porch and tower.
A stained glass window of St. Mary's church.
A stained glass window of St. Mary's church.

St Mary's church was originally built as a chapel-of-ease to St Peter's church and would have probably stood on the edge of, what was then, the Market Place (somewhere in the region of the current St. Mary's Lane).  Gilbert de Gaunt commenced to erect the Norman Chapel but he died in 1106, before it was completed.  His son Walter finished the work and it was described as "The Chapel of All Saints".  It was enlarged in 1100 but was still know as "The Chapel of All Saints.  It was altered again in 1248 by the removal of the nave Altar, and it was at this time that it was rededicated in the honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Sometime before the end of the Middle Ages a churchyard had been enclosed.  During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries aisles were added, and the west tower was built.  There was more building work during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries resulting in it being along the same scale as it's very near neighbour, St Peter's.


The tower is of 13th century origin and originally had a spire.  The porch is also of 13th century design, with its stiff-leaf capitals and dog tooth decoration.  The door in the north isle (which now leads to the church hall) is medieval in date and would have originally been an exit.  The Chapel of St. James the Deacon was built in the 14th century alongside the chancel.  The arcade between the chancel and the Chapel of St. James accommodates a number of Green Men.  In the floor beneath the altar table lies a rectangular medieval stone altar slab.  There are five crosses inscribed on it which represent the five wounds of Christ.  In the mid-sixteenth century churches were ordered to remove Pre-Reformation symbols and replace them with wooden Communion tables.  Luckily Barton's survived.


The two churches served two separate sections of the town, even though they are only around 120 yards apart.  They had separate churchwardens but only one vicar.  A chantry priest's house was built in the north west corner of the churchyard, but has since been demolished.


St Mary's has very little stained glass.  The east window was built around 1300, and was altered when the clerestory was built.  It was then restored in 2001.  For many years, around the early 1800s,  the eastern end of St. James' isle was used as a school room.  The church, however, was not used between 1816 and 1818 due to the dangerous state of the room, and local people's reluctance to sit under it.  It was re-roofed in 1819, along with new pews, and some other internal alterations, not least of which included a new pulpit and organ.


The current organ in St Mary's was built in 1898 and was moved from St Peter's church in 1973.  St Mary's church has eight bells.  Four of these were built in 1946, the other four are 17th century.  In 1971 St Peter's Church became redundant and all services transferred to St Mary's Church.



See the view from St Mary's Tower here.


Related Links (inbarton is not responsible for the content of external Internet websites)

St Mary's Church, Barton upon Humber - St Mary's Church website.

Further reading : The Later History of Barton-on-Humber: Part 1, The Church in Late Medieval Barton-on-Humber.
                                The Later History of Barton-on-Humber: Part 6, Church and People in a Victorian Country Town.


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