St Mary’s Church, Melton Mowbray
St Mary’s Parish Church, in the centre of the market town of Melton Mowbray, is the largest parish church in the Leicester Diocese. It is certainly the finest. St Mary’s is a grand cruciform church with transepts and a crossing tower. The tower of scrubbed limestone has dominated the town for centuries.
The building dates mainly from the 13th-15th centuries. The stonework in the lowest section of the tower, which has Norman windows, dates from 1170, although there were certainly one or more Anglo-Saxon churches on this site before the Norman one. It is built on a plan more usual for cathedrals and the 100-foot tower dominates the town, and is a rare example of a parish church with aisled transepts (one of only five in the country) a feature usually found only in a cathedral.
The belfry contains ten bells. The earliest bell (No.6) is by John of York dating from the fourteenth century. Most of the rest have been recast. Until 1802 there were only six bells: then two more were added and in 1894 a further two made the total ten. In addition there is a small sanctus bell which dates from the seventeenth century.
The carillon, on which chimes are played twice a day (at 12 noon and 3pm), was restored in 1938.
Our beautiful Grade I Listed building underwent a dramatic transformation in 2017 and it now looks even more spectacular than ever, thanks to our Re-ordering Project.