While visiting Newark the impressive spire of St. Mary Magdalene Church caught my eye and I decided to take a closer look. It’s apparently one of the largest parish churches in the country, and it certainly proved larger than I was expecting when I stepped inside.
Two churches were on the site before the present one, the building of which began in 1230. In 1310 the decision was made to rebuild the church, except for the tower, which took around 200 years.
As always with churches I keep an eye out for the stained glass windows and there were certainly some lovely examples present here, most of them having been installed in the 19th century. Two I particularly liked were these:
The ceiling is particularly impressive and restored to its Medieval appearance in the 1960s.
The chantry below was provided for in the will of Thomas Mering in 1500 and is one of only two pre-Reformation chantries still in existence.
I was also impressed by the church’s organ, which I only really got to see from one angle as the Church’s AGM was in progress near the organ and I didn’t want to get in the way. Inaugurated in 1814 it moved to its current place in the 1850s. It had been extensively rebuilt throughout the years, and is now the first four-manual instrument in the county which allows a live performance to be recorded and then automatically replayed.
If you find yourself in Newark I would definitely suggest paying the church a visit, even if it’s just a quick peek inside. Donations are requested if you plan to take photos but otherwise it is free to enter.
You can find more photos of the church here.