Usually ranked among the very best parish churches of England, St Mary's dominates town and country with its immensely tall 14th century spire of Lincolnshire limestone.
The late 15th century pinnacled tower serves as a fine landmark to guide visitors there. Inside, the lovely chancel of about 1330, with light pouring in through its seven light east window, makes a fitting home for a superlative series of works by outstanding master masons of the late 1300s.
The beautiful screen at Southwell Minster, a few miles to the west, was made at about the same period, and it seems that the same skilful hands may have carved these treasures at Hawton.
On the north side, next to a beautiful carved doorway and the tomb recess of Sir Robert de Compton, who endowed the chancel, is the exquisite Easter sepulchre. This masterpiece illustrates the story of Christ's death and resurrection, with a series of figures framed by the most finely detailed decorative stonework. At the base are dozing Roman soldiers guarding Christ's tomb.
Christ and the three Marys are in the central recess, with the Ascension depicted at the top. A three seated sedilia opposite the sepulchre is just as intricate, with figures of saints and a pelican. A double piscina, in the same style, completes the group.