St Mary's Church, Cowes

This is St Mary the Virgin Church, Cowes near Northwood House. (scroll down for history)

The original church was built in 1657 and an additional chancel (area around the altar) was designed by Joseph Richards and added in 1811.

In 1816 the west tower was added which was designed by John Nash in of Greek style in Portland Stone, a style ‘so unlike Nash’ according to author Pevsner. The tower was given by George Ward of Northwood House, as the family mausoleum and the interior contains memorial tables to the Ward family.

John Nash was one of the foremost British architects of the era (and is famous for Brighton Pavilion, Marble Arch, Buckingham Palace. In 1798, he purchased a plot of land of 30 acres in East Cowes on which he built East Cowes Castle where he retired to and later died in 1835. Nash is buried in the churchyard of St James’s Churchin East Cowes, which he built in 1831. . In 1867 the whole of St Mary’s Church except for the west tower was rebuilt in Gothic Revival style by the architect Arthur Cates.

Please read more about the history of Cowes buildings with more illustrations on our page Cowes History.

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