19th century: repairs to St Mary’s

New additions to the old church

In the course of the nineteenth century, extensive and essential repairs were carried out at St Mary’s.

This included the addition of new flying buttresses to the south transept, and the rebuilding of the turrets on the West Front.

A significant proportion of this repair was carried out by A. W. N. Pugin, who was the church architect from 1844 until his death in 1852. Among Pugin’s designs were the glorious stained glass windows at the west end. These windows feature various subjects, including the Annunciation, the Adoration of Christ, and scenes from the life of St John the Baptist.

Pugin also designed the weather vane for the south-western turret, the plan for which he sketched on the back of an envelope the night he was taken to an asylum in Kensington; he died a short while later at age 40.

Further repairs were carried out in the 1860s by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who oversaw the general restoration of the nave and chancel.