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St. Mary's Parish Church has been the town's most prominent landmark when approaching Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire from most directions for the past 700 years. One of the main features of St. Mary's is the East Window, about which you will find further details below the photographs.

If you have arrived here via the photographic map, St. Mary's Church can be accessed via Church Street, St Mary's Street or Old Maid's Walk and is also located adjacent to The Prospect, (see footnotes) with its spectacular views of the Horse Shoe bend in the River Wye. The precise National Grid Reference of St. Mary's is: SO 59781 / 24060.

Other pages on which are connected with St. Mary's include: [The Bells of St. Mary's] * [Day time views from the spire] * [Night time views from the spire] * [St Mary's by Night]

St. Mary's, Ross-on-Wye.
St. Mary's, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
St. Mary's Parish Church front view.
St. Mary's, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
St. Mary's Parish Church rear view.
St. Mary's, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
St. Mary's Parish Church spire.
St. Mary's, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
St. Mary's Parish Church, the grave of Noel Gorden, actress.
St. Mary's, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
St. Mary's Parish Church main east facing window.
St. Mary's, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
St. Mary's Parish Church, Colonel William Rudhall.


In 1430 the Bishop of Hereford, Bishop Spofford gave what is now the east window of St. Mary's, Ross to Bishop's Chapel at Stretton Sugress, North of Hereford. During the 18th century however the chapel was destroyed by fire but the glass remained undamaged. At this time, the east window of St. Mary's, Ross-on-Wye was decayed and rods were used as mullions to support the structure. The Churchwardens, having heard that the glass from Stretton Sugress was available to purchase for next to nothing, put in a successful bid.

The window arrived in wooden boxes, mixed up and was fitted between the iron rods just as it came out of its packing. This is how it remained for over a century.

In 1873 some glass experts working at Treago, St. Weonards sorted out the jigsaw puzzle, restoring the window to its former glory, except that the original had five lights. The centre one, probably of the crucifixion was lost forever.

The four remaining lights look inward and portray:

1. St. Ethelbert - Saxon King.

2. Bishop Spofford offering his heart to the Virgin Mary, who is sitting on the knee of her mother, St. Anne.

3. St. Haochim, husband of St. Anne, bearded, clothed in a mantle and strange black head dress, holding a book.

4. St. Thomas de Cantilupe, Bishop of Hereford in 1282.


Having built up this web site over a period of four years, adding a page here and a page there, it is easy for me to forget what I have and have not added. Although I have taken hundreds of photographs of and from The Prospect during the period, many of which can be seen on various pages of the site, for example the flood pages, whilst updating this site in May 2004 it surprised me that I have not actually made a page dedicated to The Prospect and its views. Maintaining is extremely time consuming but I will remedy this situation as soon as time allows. I am still waiting for somebody to invent that 36 hour day!

Other local churches photographed for this site include but are not limited to:
[St. Michael's, Brampton Abbotts] * [St Lawrence's, Weston] * [St. Catherine's, Hoarwithy] * [St Bridget's, Bridstow].


Photography, video and web design copyright © Alan J. Wood, All rights reserved.