St Mary’s, Kington
- OS Grid Ref: SO 292 568
- Open Access
- Wheelchair access
- Visit the website.
The spire of St. Mary’s Church stands as a landmark to guide travellers to Kington, the smallest of the five market towns of Herefordshire. The eighteenth century broach spire, reshingled in 2005, reaches up from the twelfth century tower.
Opening and entering the church by the south door one gains an impression of a broad, open building with a twelfth century nave, thirteenth century chancel, fourteenth century south aisle and chapel and a nineteenth century north aisle.
To the left, as one enters stands the circular font with its rope moulding and in which Kington babies have been baptised for over 900 years.
In the south aisle stands the fifteenth century effigy, the alabaster, altar tomb of Knight Thomas Vaughan of nearby Hergest Court, killed at the Battle of Banbury in 1469 and where, with his wife Ellen Gethin, Ellen the Terrible, he now lies.
The fine, Victorian stained glass windows, cleaned and restored in 2005 are predominantly from the School of Clayton and Bell. “The noble chancel” as Pevsner describes it, boasts a fine set of lancet windows depicting the twelve Apostles. Two of the east window lancets are by William Wailes, the right hand lancet by Clayton and Bell, to date, why this should be so, remains unsolved. A guide to the windows is now available.
Approaching the Church on foot from the town you will enter the churchyard by the eighteenth century lych gate and nearing the Church you will see the remains of a late eighteenth century preaching cross, now a focus of The Garden of Remembrance.
The bells peal forth every Sunday and a choir leads the worship at the 10am Sunday service each week.
Visitors are most welcome to enjoy the calm, peaceful atmosphere of a lovingly tended Church.
An interesting History for Visitors is available in the Church and in Kington Tourist Information Centre.
OUTSIDE: The Churchyard commands beautiful views across the Arrow Valley and to the slopes of Bradnor Hill, home to the highest golf course (18 holes) in England. Standing outside the south door one looks across to the old Lady Hawkins’ Grammar School Building, a school founded in 1632 and now converted to dwellings. (Pupils from the present Lady Hawkins’ School still attend a service in the church to celebrate Foundress Day annually.)
TRAVEL: There is a regular bus service from Hereford, Leominster and Llandrindod Wells. For travellers by car the Church lies off the A44 on the west side of the town. For walkers the church lies on the Offa’s Dyke Path and Kington is at one end of the Mortimer Trail.
CHURCH ACTIVITIES: The Friends of St Mary’s is a group who, regardless of religious persuasion, help fund the upkeep of Kington’s well-loved landmark. Tiny Tots is a monthly gathering for pre-school children accompanied by parents and Trailblazers, a monthly venture for Primary School age children. Spritz welcomes young people (11-14 years) as does Upstairs, Year 10 upwards, both meeting monthly. All four groups meet in the Parish House. Family Services take place once a month and are for all the Church Family regardless of age and visitors are always welcome to these services in St Mary’s. The Church hosts concerts and lectures throughout the year.
Car parking on the north side, a disabled parking on south side, W.C., and ramp are available. Wheelchair available on request. For further information visit thekingtonparishes.org.uk