For this church:
St Mary’s church at Greasley has a history stretching back to the 11th century, there being mention of a church in the Domesday Book. The only remains of the medieval building are a few stones in the east wall. The tower dates to the 15th century but the nave and choir were subject to several rebuilds, the last substantial one being in 1896 as a consequence of structural damage caused by mining subsidence from local collieries.
The church is situated on high ground and the imposing and substantial tower forms a landmark which can be seen from much of the parish, and its bells heard throughout the parish.
The present day church interior is light, friendly and presents the visitor with a warm welcoming feeling. It contains interesting stained glass windows depicting the history of the church and some of its parishioners. The coloured windows were first inserted in 1948 when the East window had a War Memorial commemorative window inserted. However, the ‘Beauvale’ window, which commemorates St Mary’s connection with Beauvale Priory, the ruins of which are on private property close to the church, contains two roundels of medieval glass depicting St Agatha and St Lucy, which came from the Priory. There are some fine modern coloured windows dedicated to members of the congregation.
The graveyard contains the grave of Benjamin Drawater who was ship’s surgeon on one of Captain Cook’s voyages.
St. Mary’s serves a large, vibrant and thriving community, with many activities provided for its congregation and parishioners, as can be immediately realised from a glance through the very well produced parish magazine. Visitors to its services are made very welcome. The church has a long and interesting history of serving its community and continues to do so in a manner well suited to the needs of the 21st century inhabitants of Greasley parish.
Particular thanks to Howard Fisher for research on this entry