Towns, Cities, Villages and Hamlets

Ely - St. Mary's

The Church of St. Mary, standing at a short distance from the cathedral, is a building of stone in the transitional and Early English styles, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of seven bays, aisles, south transept, north porch and a western tower with hexagonal spire of the Decorated period, containing a clock and 8 bells, of which the 7th was cast in 1670, the third in 1766, and all the others in 1781: in the chancel is an arcaded double piscina and canopied sedilia; a smaller but similar piscina remains in the south transept: on the south-west buttress of the tower is a tablet recording the burial of five persons who were executed at Ely in 1816 for robberies at Ely and Littleport during the riots in May of that year: the church was rebuilt about 1215, by Bishop Eustachius, on the site of a former church; the arches of the nave arcades may be his work, but the heavy circular pillars are not improbably part of the original structure; the curious mixture in this church of Norman and Early English features in the arches and columns, is perhaps unique: the building was restored in 1878-9 at a cost of £2,597, and a vestry was added in 1899: it affords 500 sittings. The register dates from the year 1670.

[Extract from Kelly's Cambridgeshire Directory - 1900]

Ely St Mary's Church

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