Genealogy information

Parish church

Village photos

Email OntaWorld


Saint Mary

There was a seventh century chapel at the west end of the present church, the site of which is marked by St Bertelin's Cross. In 1954 the foundations were found of the late Anglo-Saxon church of St Bertelin, the local saint.

The present building is large and impressive, the oldest part being the Norman nave and aisles divided by five bays dating from about 1190. It is cruciform with a central octagonal tower, the upper parts of which are original perpendicular work with twin two-light openings, battlements and pinnacles.

There has been no spire since 1594 when it fell into the chancel causing considerable havoc. The decorated north transept is generally regarded as the best part of the fine interior, dating from c. 1180-1490. The mainly medieval church was significantly restored by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 19th century.

The font is Norman with Italian influence and amongst many distinguished people baptised here was Izaac Walton, author of The Compleat Angler. It is quatrefoil with an inscription in Latin, translated by Pevsner as: Thou bearest from Jerusalem the divine fount, endowing me with beauty and grace. You are not wise if you don't flee from the lions.

There are many monuments, memorials and alabaster tomb effigies. Many but not all the church windows have been restored or modified by Scott. The stained glass west window is by Garente and is an extremely good effort to revive the true 13th century character.

Please check back soon for photos of St Mary, Stafford.