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St Mary

There has been a church on this site since 1090 and St Mary's once hosted (the then Princess) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as a bridesmaid in 1931.

Balcombe, Sussex

Opening times

The church is open Thursday to Sunday.


London Road
RH17 6PX

There was a church on this site by 1090 with the current St Mary's dating back to the late 13th/early 14th century (south aisle and Resurrection Chapel). Records show that it was given to the Priory of St Pancras at Lewes, including a levy of tithes to support the church and clergy. The bell tower was built in the 15th century, with the nave and north aisles being built during the Victorian era. The bell tower hosts a ring of eight bells, three of which date to 1614. The Grade I listed church is built of local Paddockhurst sandstone from the same quarry.

There is a brass list of the rectors of the church dating to 1333. The large west window in the nave (illustrated) is in memory of George and Fanny Amilia Meek, of Brantridge, who died on December 8th and 13th 1874 respectively. He was High Sheriff of Sussex who caught a fever at Lewes Assizes, of which he and his wife both died. It depicts the arrival of the kings.

In the front pew of the north side of the nave is a brass plaque marking the spot where Queen Mary sat at the wedding of her neice, Lady May Cambridge to Captain Henry Abel Smith on 24 October 1931. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, was a bridesmaid and the wedding was attended by by members of the Royal family and foreign royalty.

The Parish Registers date back to 1539; the originals are now housed at the West Sussex Record Office in Chichester.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • National heritage here

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Wildlife haven

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Car park at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Sunday: Holy Communion 8am / Parish Eucharist or Family Service 10am.

  • Church of England

Contact information

SussexBALCOMBEStMary(andyscottCC-BY-SA4.0)1 AndyScott

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