St Mary's Church - Fairford

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St Mary's Church in Fairford

St Mary's Church in Fairford is visited by people from Britain and all over the world. One of the main reasons the church has achieved such worldwide popularity must be because of its stained glass.

Once, many parish churches would have glowed with the rich colours of medieval glass but today Fairford's St Mary's Church is unique as a parish church in retaining a near complete set or original windows.

One of the medievel stained glass windows to be found in the Church of St Mary, Fairford  

The medieval stained glass is thought to be the work of Barnard Flower, whom Henry VIII employed to glaze the windows of King's College Chapel in Cambridge and the Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey.

St Mary's in Fairford was rebuilt in the 1490s by John Tame, a local wool merchant. It was built in the Perpendicular style that is common in the area. Cirencester and Northleach both having churches in the same style.

Tame retained the tower of the earlier building and the church was rededicated in 1497 in the reign of Henry VII. The glass was installed over the next 15 to 20 years under the direction of Barnard Flower, the king's glazier. Flower and many of his fellow glass painters came from the Netherlands.

The windows include episodes from the life of Christ, illustrations of prophets, apostles and teachers of the faith and the Last Judgement found in the West Window.

Some of the medieval stained glass in Sy Mary's Church in Fairford
A view of some of the medieval stained glass in St Mary's Church