This spacious cruciform building with the battlement bell tower surmounted by a spire occupies a fine open site on the corner of Church Street and High Street.
There is evidence of there having been a church in Ware for over a thousand years. When the Domesday Book was prepared there was "a priest" at Ware. The church is mentioned in a charter given by William I to Hugh de Grentmaisnil giving permission to found a cell of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Evroul, Normandy, in Ware and handing over the church to the alien priory.
During the 15th century the church was enlarged and beautified by Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry VII.
The church is now regarded as a fine example of 14th and 15th century architecture in the perpendicular style and contains many items of historic interest. The modern altar forming the focal point of worship was commissioned and installed in the church in 1967.
In 1978 St. Mary's celebrated the 900th anniversary of the founding of the Benedictine Priory in Ware with a service at which Cardinal, Basil Hume, the leading English Benedictine of his time was the preacher. A Russian Orthodox Archbishop was present, and Robert Runcie, then Bishop of St. Albans and later to become Archbishop of Canterbury, presided.
In 1980 there was a year of festival events to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the rebuilding of the church in 1380 by Joan of Kent, wife of the Black Prince and mother of Richard II.
In 1982 work was completed on an extension to the church to provide the facilities which a beautiful medieval building lacks, a project only possible because a small field given to the church centuries ago was compulsorily purchased for the Ware Bypass scheme and so established the St Mary's Parish Clerk's Land Charity.
St. Mary's has had a reputation for its fine church music for over a hundred years. The organ has been restored in recent years and Ware has had the pleasure of a number of organ recitals of the highest standard. St. Mary's church acts as host for the Ware Choral Society Christmas Concert, the Ware Operatic Society Ware Week Concert, and the twice-yearly performances of the Ware Sinfonia.
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