St Mary the Virgin, Holmbury Mike Peel

St Mary the Virgin

Built on a prominent hillside at the heart of the village that was created at the same time, St Mary's was designed, built and given to the parish by the eminent Victorian architect, George Edmund Street, in memory of his second wife. It was consecrated in 1879.

Holmbury St Mary, Surrey

Opening times

St Mary's welcomes visitors every day, between 10am to 5pm and is sometimes open at other times too.

Address

Horsham Road
Holmbury St Mary
Surrey
RH5 6PF

Snecked in Holmbury Hill sandstone with Bathstone ashlar dressings, St Mary's has plain tiled roofs with a wooden shingled bellcote and brooch spire to the west end. The church is cleverly designed to look bigger and more imposing from the outside, yet provides a beautifully proportioned interior that is both grand and intimate.

Inside, there is a painted and panelled pulpit, a coved rood screen with cusped tracery, some fine wrought decorative stone and ironwork Italian marble in the nave pillars and some vivid stained glass windows, mostly designed by Street and made by Clayton and Bell. The bellower houses 8 bells, which are rung from a carillon; the clock was built and is still maintained by Gillet and Johnston.

The churchyard is managed for wildlife: mown paths enable access to the graves and tree saplings are kept low, but the flora and fauna typical of the surrounding sandy heath flourishes between the graves. There is a memorial to the architect, designed and erected by his son and Edwin Waterhouse, founder of the world renowned accountancy firm and other members of his family are buried in the churchyard.

St Mary's today is an active and lively church, with a congregation drawn from the parish and the surrounding area, who come for the inspiring preaching, the lively children's church and the strong musical tradition. St Mary's provides a gracious and uplifting home for 21st century mission and worship and is appreciated by all who visit.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Famous connections

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Magnificent memorials

  • National heritage here

  • Social heritage stories

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Wildlife haven

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Car park at church

  • Dog friendly

  • Ramp or level access available on request

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Steps to enter the church or churchyard

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Weekly services at St Mary's follow a regular pattern: First Sundays: 9.30am Holy Communion (said); 10.30am Funday (family worship based on Messy Church). Second Sundays: Holy Communion (sung). Third Sundays: Morning Prayer (sung). Fourth Sundays: Holy Communion (sung). Fifth Sundays: shared service in one of the churches of the Leith Hill Benefice.

  • The Holmbury Community Cafe is open as follows: Tuesday mornings, 10am to 12noon. Fridays once a month, 10am to 12noon.

  • Church of England

  • Maintenance Grant, £1,708, 2018

  • Our Maintenance Grants funded urgent maintenance projects to help keep churches open.

  • Partnership Grant, £2,500, 2011

  • Our Partnership Grants funded a range of repair projects, recommended by County Church Trusts, to help keep churches open.

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St James

Shere, Surrey

St James shows many details of its long history including the little south porch of wood and brick sheltering a Norman doorway and 13th century door.