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St Mary’s Church is the Heart of Hitchin. 

The Jewel in our crown.

Standing at the centre of our community for twelve centuries, it belongs to us all. 

The much-loved emblem of H town. 

But if we want this beautiful place to survive, preserved for future generations, we need to act now.

And we need your help! 

Take a look at the vital conservation work ahead, and please help us to meet the challenge! 

stmary's blossom.jpg

Make a donation to support our work


Urgent repairs

How we keep St Mary's beautiful and safe

St Mary's is Grade 1 listed building, mainly dating from the 14th & 15th Centuries. Many repairs and additions have happened over the ages, and there is an ongoing programme to monitor and address the areas most in need of work. A team of volunteers carry out routine maintenance like clearing moss and leaves from roof gutters and making small repairs, but as larger problems arise then the Preservation Trust is called on to pay for specialist builders and stonemasons where the Church does not have the resources to do this.


Limestone 'Clunch'


The North side windows


What repairs are needed

Beautiful but soft limestone

The material which was originally used to built the Church, and highlight ornate details as around the tracery of the windows, is a soft limestone called 'Clunch' which comes from the local area. Although beautiful, it's now badly eroded and this has meant whole areas have had to be replaced.

There are six large perpendicular windows on the North Side, three of which need urgent repair.

In the 19th Century repairs were made around the windows using stucco, a kind of plaster, stuck onto the stone to fill in the gaps where pieces had eroded. Recently this started to fall off and all the plaster had to be removed, revealing the true condition of the stonework.

It's not just the window edges, the whole section must be refaced.

The 'Hood' arch above the window and the ridge above, running under the roof, all need work to keep the rain out. Also, each window needs a minimum thickness of stone edging to hold in the weight of the glass. Inside, wooden bracing is protecting the weakest places.


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