The Old Town Church of St Mary


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Brief History of Old Town Church

At the heart of Old Town today is Old Town Church, dedicated to St Mary, which nestles quaintly on the coastal path towards Penninis Headland. It is the oldest surviving church in the islands having been built in the mid twelfth century when it was under the control of Tavistock Abbey. It later became the responsibility of the Prior of Scilly. The date of 1662 appears above the porch when it is believed the North Aisle was added. The South Aisle was added around 1677. Much of the church was rebuilt around eighteen thirty- three and further restoration was carried our in eighteen ninety.

Carols and Music at the Old Town Church

Christmas is a time of carol singing both in and out of Church.  Before the churches had organs a small band used to play in the west gallery and always turned out for such events as Christmas services, Easter, Harvest Festival and events like that.  Now the Isles of Scilly Museum has two clarinets and a serpent.  These were originally played in the Old Church Band which functioned from the gallery of the Old Town Church.  When this was superseded by the new Parish Church in St. Mary's in 1840, the band moved there too.  Eventually the band was replaced by the organ and the clarinets and the serpent were on display in the Church, but more recently, for purposes of safety, they were removed into the care of the Museum. 

Steve Ottery - Museum News



Dove's reference to the bells



Map reference  :  


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This site has been constructed by, and remains the copyright of, its authors,
Edwin and Sheila Macadam,

Shelwin, 30, Eynsham Road, Botley,
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July 2001 -