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St. Mary, Swanage, Dorset


The parish church of St. Mary, and interesting structure of the early 13th century, was entirely rebuilt, with the exception of the tower, in the years 1859 and 1860, and enlarged in 1908 by an extension of the north aisle, at a cost of about £6,000: it is a cruciform building of stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, transepts, north aisle, south porch and tower 80 feet in height and containing a clock and 8 bells, 4 of which were hung in 1888 in memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Burt, who died Jan. 6th, 1886: there are tablets and brasses to Henry Welles, of Godlingston, d. 25th Jan. 1607, aged 91, and Marie (Pole), his wife, d. 1560, and to the Edmonds family, one of whom, John Edmonds, was killed in Cuba in 1794: there are also memorial windows to Rear-Admiral Sir Eaton S. Travers K.H. d. 1858, Ann Palmer, his wife, d. 1864, to John Mowlem, d. 1868, Susanna Mowlem, d. 1849, Elizabeth Sophia, wife of J. Davies Sewell, d. 1880, and Thomas Randell, d. 1869: the communion plate of silver gilt was the gift of Elizabeth Toop, wife of Abraham Storey, citizen and mason of London, and is dated 1693: the church affords 1,000 sittings. The ground now used as the cemetery is a little to the north of the church, detached from the building.

Church Records

The register dates for baptisms from 1563, marriages 1595, burials 1568. The original register books are now deposited with the Dorset Archives Service, but have been digitised by and made available on their site (subscription required).

St. Mary

Denomination:Church of England
Built:13th c.