top of page

St. Mary's History

The history of St. Mary the Virgin, Roade, starts from around the 12th century.  It is not known whether there was an earlier church in the village, or even if it was in its current location. 

To learn more about the history of the church several books have been compiled over the years and are all available for purchase.  Alternatively click here for an extract from British History online.



                      Available from the church                                    Available from Roade History Society

history 3.png
history 1.png
history 2.png
church history.png
old church3.png

Exploring St. Mary's Church you will find many interesting things to discover from different periods of its 900 year history.  There are also a number of memorial tablets displayed.  On your next visit to St. Mary's see how many of the features below you can find. 


South Entrance

One of the earliest features of the Church is the Norman south doorway.


Weather vane

The rebuilding of the spirette on top of the tower in 1949 was completed with the cockerel weather vane.  It weighs 33lbs.


The Piscina

(likely 13th century but was restored in 1857)

A stone basin near the altar in Catholic and pre -Reformation churches for draining water used in the mass.

Stained glass West window

This was erected in November 1986 as a memorial to the late Sir Cyril and Lady Cripps - a gift from their family.

Statue of Madonna and Child

Kindly given to the church in 1954 in memory of a Cecil J Vincent Priest.

Sanctus Bell 

The bell is believed to date back to 1500's or even before, as it is mentioned in a 1552 inventory found in the church.



Made in 1950 during the major church renovation,  parts of the lectern (darker woods) are from old oak beams that were the original bell frame (pre 1950.)  


Chandeliers (in Nave)

Given by Mr H C Collyer in memory of his wife, Alice in 1969.  Designed by the Peterborough Catherdral architect and made by the staff and pupils of Roade Secondary School.


Another of the earliest features from the Norman era.



Another item rebuilt in the restoration (1950) using some of the old oak from the bell frame (pre 1950).

Ram's Head

Found in the bell tower during renovation and thought to originate back to the 1300's.


Unmarked Plain Tomb

Thought to be that of Richard Wake of Hartwell (died 1558) and his two wives.



Purchased second hand in 1879.  In 1984 the pedal keyboard was expanded to two octaves.  After several years of fundraising it was thoroughly cleaned and the sound improved in 2020.

Mothers Union Banner

A beautifully woven banner blessed in 1954 when presented to the church.

Stained glass East window

Donated in 1958 by Louisa Goodridge in memory of her father George Goodridge.


Hidden Treasure - Turret Clock

It remains in place in the middle part of the tower (out of sight) and dates from around 1700.  It is complete apart from the pendulum and one of its weights,  It never had any faces or hands but would strike a bell every hour.

Church Tower (1).JPG

Click here to view our full gallery

bottom of page