Approached by a narrow lane above a steep slope and surrounded by trees, Up Marden is perhaps the hardest to find of the downland churches.
This is the largest church in the Octagon parish, this is a little changed 11th century building, and more ambitious in size and style than the typical downland churches. The windows and transept arches were changed in the 12th and 13th centuries, the bell tower raised over the south transept in the late 14th century. The chancel eaves were lowered, possibly in the 17th century, and there was 19th century restoration to the chancel roof, floor, stained glass, and nave pews.
A restored 19th century Willis two manual Organ was installed in 1994. Its pleasant voicing can provide an enlightening and impressive accompaniment to all our church services and activities, while its appearance and size now blend happily within the Saxon architecture to make a perfect venue to continue the genre of organ recitals, choir and carol concerts already established. St Mary has a fine ring of six bells. The ring was augmented from five to six and a major refurbishment, including the installation of a new bell frame, was undertaken in 2007.
The Friends of St Mary charity was set up in 1978 to provide funds for the fabric of the church.