St Mary’s Church is believed to have been built in 1179. It is now a Grade II* listed building but it is unlikely that any of the original exists today. The oldest parts of the building are the low tower and parts of the nave. A new chancel was added in 1834.
St. Mary’s has historic links to the Howe family and to Gopsall Hall which was once one of the grandest Georgian houses in Leicestershire. George Frideric Handel is known to have stayed at the Hall on a number of occasions. A new stained glass window, funded in part through a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and installed in 2014, commemorates these connections. The church organ was built around 1860 by Henry Willis who built the original Grand Organ in the Royal Albert Hall. There is also a monument to Georgiana, Countess Howe which was created by Sir George Frampton, whose works include statues of Queen Victoria in Calcutta and Winnipeg, and a statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.
In early 2019 St. Mary’s received a National Lottery Heritage grant of £220,500 for a project to carry out urgent repairs, replace roofing stolen in 2015, and improve the church’s facilities. The work has enabled us to restore damaged stonework and rotting timbers, construct a new terne-coated stainless steel roof, install tower access, guttering and weather vane. The installation of a new servery and WC with baby changing facility will also improve church facilities for use at church services and village events.
St Mary’s closed during part of 2019 whilst the repairs to the church were carried out, but it has now re-opened for regular services and general visits at weekends.
We are part of the Bosworth Benefice, comprising: