Steeple Ashton St Mary Philip Halling

St Mary

St Mary’s church gleams a golden hue in the setting sunlight which takes your breath away, even without its once high spire it dominates the village scape and stands out above everything else in the Steeple Ashton vale.

Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire

Opening times

Open from 9am to 7pm in Summer and 5pm during darker months.


Church Street
Steeple Ashton
BA14 6EW

This ‘knobbly church’ as Edward Thomas describes it fills the visitor with awe and wonder. Inside you will find slender columns and magnificent vaulting, wonderfully carved corbels and the story of its missing spire. This magnificent church was built in the late middle ages to replace an earlier church, the tower of which remains.

Two wealthy woollen merchants paid for the building of the aisles and the congregation for the nave. The cloth trade fell away from the village so that the project was not completed, an aspect that adds to its charm. The chancel was rebuilt in the Victorian era when the pews and the pulpit were replaced.

During the Civil War it was visited by a body of men from the Parliamentarian army under the leadership by Sir William Waller; they are reputed to have stabled their horses in the box pews. They certainly left their mark, defacing corbels and smashing the stained glass windows. The villagers lovingly collected much of the broken glass and later new windows were made which included a patchwork of the bits and pieces.

Step through the wonderful old door with it original sanctuary knocker You cannot help but stand in awe at its magnificence; there is so much to see and enjoy from the carving on the nave roof to the corbel of the man with two right hands; from the Victorian pews to the two memorials to Anne Wainhouse, our 18th century heroine reputed to have died of a broken heart.

Yet with all this to see you will experience stillness and peace and grace.

Our children’s corner and our bats reflect the fact that we are a lively church ready to move to the twenty-first century as we plan the installation of modern facilities.

I love the church for its beauty and for its spirituality, I have known it since my earliest childhood but even now, returning home, the sight of it never fails to give me a buzz.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Famous connections

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Magnificent memorials

  • National heritage here

  • Social heritage stories

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Wildlife haven

  • Accessible toilets in church

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Café in church

  • Car park at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Church of England

  • Heritage Stimulus Fund Grant, £35,763, 2021

  • Tower repairs

Contact information

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St Thomas

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St James

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This large Perpendicular church was heavily restored in 1847 to 1848.