St Mary's Church, Tenby

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The spire of St Mary's Church, Tenby
Memorial to Robert Recorde in St Mary's Church, Tenby

St Mary's Church, Tenby is a church located in the centre of the town of Tenby in Pembrokeshire, western Wales. The church is in the Diocese of Saint David's within the Church in Wales, and a member of the Anglican Communion.

History and description[edit]

The majority of the remaining building dates from the 15th century with some features retained from the 13th century.[1] There is believed to have been a church on the site since Norman times, and Gerald of Wales is counted as the earliest Rector of Tenby.

The 13th Century chancel has a 'wagon' roof and the panelled ceiling has 75 bosses carved in a variety of designs including foliage, grotesques, fishes, a mermaid, and a green man, as well as the figure of Jesus surrounded by the four Apostles. St. Thomas' Chapel was added in the mid-15th Century, and the St. Nicholas Chapel was added c. 1485. The spire is also a 15th-century addition. Inside the church is a 15th-century font and a 15th-century bell, cast with the letters 'Sancta Anna'.

The tower is positioned to one side of the chancel and dates from the late 13th century. The first floor served as a chapel, and still has a stone altar and piscina in place.

The church has two fonts, one dating from the 15th century and another late Gothic example from the 19th century.[1]

The church contains several memorials, including the tombs of Thomas and John White, both Mayors of Tenby in the fifteenth century. Thomas White was famous for hiding a young Henry Tudor from King Richard III.

There is also a wall tablet in memory of Robert Recorde, an Elizabethan scholar, who introduced the equals sign ( = ) to mathematical calculation.

The church was Grade I listed in 1951,[2] being of exceptional architectural and historical interest.

In the churchyard, 20 metres west of the church, are the remains of what is believed to be a late 15th-century choir school or college. The wall includes a pointed arched doorway. These remains are Grade II* listed.[3]


  1. ^ a b ST MARY'S CHURCH, TENBY;CHURCH OF ST MARY IN LIBERTY, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Updated 13 November 2007. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  2. ^ "Church of Saint Mary in Liberty, Tenby". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Medieval structure in the churchyard, Tenby". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 22 February 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°40′19″N 4°42′00″W / 51.672°N 4.7°W / 51.672; -4.7