St. Mary Magdalene Church, Sandringham

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St. Mary Magdalene Church
St. Mary Magdalene Church is located in Norfolk
St. Mary Magdalene Church
St. Mary Magdalene Church
Location in Norfolk
52°49′42″N 0°30′32″E / 52.828204°N 0.508924°E / 52.828204; 0.508924
Denomination Church of England
Parish Sandringham, Norfolk
St Mary Magdalene Church

St Mary Magdalene Church is a church in Sandringham, Norfolk, England, located just to the northwest of Sandringham Estate. Members of the British Royal Family attend services when in residence at Sandringham, which normally includes Christmas.[1]


The Grade II* listed[2] church is dedicated to Mary Magdalene[3] and is described as a small building in the Perpendicular style, "nobly lying on raised ground".[4][5] The current building dates to the 16th century and was restored by S. S. Teulon in 1855 and Arthur Blomfield in 1890. It is considered to be a noteworthy example of a carrstone building.[6][7] It is located in the park and is approached from Sandringham House through the garden by "an avenue of fine old Scotch firs".[5]

The silver altar and reredos were presented to Queen Alexandra by the American department store owner, Rodman Wanamaker, as a tribute to Edward VII. He also presented her with the silver pulpit and a silver 17th-century Spanish processional cross. Of note also is a Florentine marble font and a Greek font dating to the 9th-century.[6][8]


There are memorials to many members and relations of the Royal Family in the church and churchyard. Prince John (12 July 1905 – 18 January 1919) is buried here. King George VI lay in state in the church after his death in February 1952.[9]


The church has been the site of many royal christenings. These christenings include:[10][11]


  1. ^ "Duke of Edinburgh misses royals' Christmas Day service". BBC. 25 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Mary Magdelene <sic>  (Grade II*) (1077615)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Blomefield, Francis; Parkin, Charles (1775). An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: History of Norwich. Printed for W. Miller. p. 684. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  4. ^ JSTOR (Organization) (1905). The Musical times. Novello. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Jones, C. Rachel (1888). Sandringham, past and present. Jarrold & Sons. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Church of St. Mary Magdalene". Sandringham Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Kelly, E.R. (1865). The Post Office Directory of Norfolk & Suffolk. p. 365. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  8. ^ James, N P (1 November 2011). Norfolk: A County Guide. Cv Publications. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-908419-01-9. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  9. ^ Time Inc (18 February 1952). LIFE. Time Inc. p. 38. ISSN 0024-3019. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "Royal Baptism: Prince George of Cambridge". 27 September 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Princess Charlotte to be christened at Sandringham". 5 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Morton, p. 100
  13. ^ "First family outing: William, Kate and a rather curious George are all smiles as they attend Princess Charlotte's christening". 5 July 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015.