HerefordshirePEMBRIDGEStMaryVirgin(alanmurrayrustCC-BY-SA2.0)1 AlanMurrayRust

St Mary the Virgin

St Mary’s is a much loved medieval church known for its unique detached belfry, set in well kept grounds in Herefordshire’s 'jewel in the crown' of black and white villages.

Pembridge, Herefordshire

Opening times

The church is open daily.


High Street

The church was built in the 14th century, on the site of an earlier Norman church. It was probably the wealth of the Mortimers which contributed to such a fine big building. The fine old oak door boasts a medieval knocker where wrong doers were given sanctuary by holding on to it.

The carving on the pulpit, altar rails and lectern are Restoration period (c1660), those on the Reading Desk much earlier, possibly from the earlier church. The interior features some interesting memorials, floor and wall tablets are worth a read. Who was the little boy, aged 4½ years old, buried in the chancel, near the Rector’s vestry?

On the walls are 17th century wall paintings that were discovered under a layer of whitewash–The Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments. The exterior of the west door shows bullet holes, thought to be the work of Cromwell's soldiers when Pembridge was the scene of fierce fighting during the Civil War.

Outside on the south wall, very close to the sealed south door are four primitive scratch dials, a very early form of sundial. Try it on a sunny day!.

There are some wonderful stone effigies, unusually a Sergeant at law, his son (a steward), along with their wives. After research into what they were wearing and how they were made, the 14th century costumes (including the undergarments and shoes) worn by the effigies were recreated by a small group and these can be seen on display near the Lady Chapel.

At the west end of the church are the beautiful Pembridge Tapestries and the Pembridge Map (both completed by local stitchers). The tapestries bring to life some of the key moments in the history of the village from Doomsday to the 20th century along with some myths from the local area. The map shows all the houses and buildings that make up the village of Pembridge.

The bell tower rises in three timber framed stages from a roughly octagonal stone base and is almost unique in England.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Famous connections

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Magnificent memorials

  • National heritage here

  • Social heritage stories

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Café within 500m

  • Church shop or souvenirs

  • Dog friendly

  • On street parking at church

  • Parking within 250m

  • Ramp or level access available on request

  • Steps to enter the church or churchyard

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Weekly services, regular school use, concerts, annual summer fete, winter craft fair.

  • Church of England

Contact information

HerefordshirePEMBRIDGEStMaryVirgin(alanmurrayrustCC-BY-SA2.0)1 AlanMurrayRust

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