Built: Circa 1377–1509 with ongoing restorations and additions
History: A church has most likely stood at this location since Saxon times, and in fact the church is mentioned in the Doomesday Book, a survey of England completed in 1086. However, it wasn’t until toward the end of Edward III’s reign in 1377 that the building of St. Mary’s Church began. The south aisle wall was completed by the early 1380s, during the reign of Richard II. It was during this time period that the Peasants’ Revolt took place, out of which the tale of Robin Hood emerged. The monarchy underwent many changes—power moved from the Angevins to the House of Lancaster to the House of York, back to the House of Lancaster, and then back to the House of York—and the nave was finished by 1475. The tower, meanwhile, was not erected until the reign of Henry VII from the House of Tudor.
According to the church guide, the many-windowed church originally had clear glass but churchgoers preferred "to worship in an atmosphere of reverent gloom and filled the spaces with stained glass." Consequently, the church boasts beautiful late-Victorian stained glass made by Charles Eamer Kempe, Burlison & Grylls, and Hardman & Co.
The south porch doors, designed by the Arts and Crafts Movement’s Henry Wilson, is sectioned off into panels that depict scenes from the New Testament.
Interior design: Considering the length of time it took to build the church, in which not only who sat upon the throne changed but undoubtedly style, the architecture of the church is surprisingly uniform. In fact, as J. Holland Walker points out, although the chancel stands apart for its different style, it is with solid explanation.
As the oldest surviving door in the town (it possibly dates back as far as the 1370s), the chantry door is of particular note.
Interesting fact: The founder of the Salvation Army, General William Booth, has ties to St. Mary’s Church. He was baptized at Sneinton Church by George Wilkins, D.D., Perpetual Curate, Vicar of St. Mary’s. The choir stalls at Sneinton Church, acquired in 1848, were originally from St. Mary’s.
Pop culture: The story “Robin Hood and the Monk,” in which Robin Hood visited St. Mary’s because he hadn’t been to mass for a fortnight but was reported by the monk he had earlier robbed, takes place at this church. (The St. Mary’s Robin Hood married Maid Marion in is in Edwinstowe.)