Cambridgeshire Churches

Westry, St Mary


Westry is effectively a northern suburb of March, spread along the busy A141 which runs to the west of the town. The village appears, so far as I can see, to be just a string of houses along either side of the road. The church of St Mary, which sits in a graveyard on the east side of the road, is very easily overlooked (we only spotted it in passing on our way up to Coates). Even Pevsner paid it almost no attention – his entry for the church is even terser than usual: ‘Wisbech Road. 1873 by T.H. Wyatt’.

So, this is the last of the trio of churches that Wyatt designed and built in March in the 1870s. It is a compact but pleasing design – a simple hall built of sandy-coloured stone, with some very rough blocks of rusty carrstone used as decoration. The east end is a rounded apse, decorated with blind round-headed arcading, and lit by septifoil windows in the heads of the arches. And the west end has a whimsical little octagonal bell-turret, which projects upwards and outwards from a buttress in the middle of the west face, and rises to a solid bell-chamber rising above the apex of the roof.

Alas, we couldn’t get in. So, while I took notes, Mum and Dad went to look at some of the gravestones. The graveyard here is surprisingly full – I guess the parish must take in quite a bit of the town of March itself.

St Mary was locked, and I could find no information about keyholders.

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