Herefordshire Places of Worship

St Mary's Church, Kington (1) (61k) St Mary's Church, Kington (2) (27k) St Mary's Church, Kington (3) (31k) St Mary's Church, Kington (4) (35k) St Mary's Church, Kington (5) (30k) St Mary's Church, Kington (6) (27k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
St Mary's Church, Kington
St Mary's Church,
Church Street / Montford Road,
Kington, Herefordshire.


This Church has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in the 12th century, and we understand it is still open.

The following information about the Church has been provided to accompany the photographs on the right. A list of people who have supplied the information is included in the Acknowledgements, below.

[Image 1] St Mary's Church is set on a hill to the west of the town, on the fortified site of Kington Borough. It is reached from the Leominster direction by bearing right in the town centre along ‘Church Street’.

It is believed to date from Norman times; originally its tower was detached, reflecting its intended purpose as a place of refuge, but became joined to the church in more peaceful times when aisles were added in the 14th century. The attractive broach spire was built (or rebuilt) in 1794.[1]

[Image 2] The Chancel, with its 3-lancet East Window, dates from the 13th century. Next to it, on the right of this photograph is the Vaughn Chapel.[1]

[Image 4] Looking from the nave, this photograph shows the north aisle, and a narrower outer aisle, added in 1874. The spot of coloured (pink-ish) light on the wall above the light fitting hanging between the second archway is sunlight streaming in through one of the stained glass windows.[1]

[Image 6] Here in the Vaughn Chapel is the tomb effigy of Thomas Vaughn, who was killed in 1469 at the Battle of Banbury, supporting the Yorkist cause during the Wars of the Roses. His wife Ellen Gethin (“Ellen the Terrible”) lies beside him. Legend has it that she avenged her murdered brother (David) by attending an archery tournament disguised as a man, and shooting an arrow through the heart of his murderer. An account of the legend is recorded in Tales and sketches of Wales: (1879), which can be found amongst texts available via the “Wayback Machine”.[1]

The Chapel, dedicated by Bishop Orleton in 1325 was endowed and adopted to contain Vaughn's tomb, which may have been set in the middle of the Chapel originally. Since then it has been moved several times to its present position against the chancel wall.

This view is from the Chancel, looking backwards towards the south aisle.

[1] That magic space, the Internet eBook and Texts Archive.[1]


Now or formerly Church of England.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.


This Church is located at OS grid reference SO2913856760. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Kington, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.


A special thanks to the following people who have contributed information for this web page:

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

Information last updated on 4 Oct 2010 at 00:00.

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Further Information

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This Report was created 22 Mar 2021 - 00:41:05 GMT from information held in the Herefordshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 7 Feb 2019 at 13:34.

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