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Introduction

St Mary's has been at the centre of Christian life in Battle for nearly 900 years.  This beautiful Parish Church was founded by Abbot Ralph circa. A.D.1115. The Benedictine Abbey of St. Martin was built on the battlefield of the Norman conquest and established St. Mary's to serve the community which had grown up around the monastery.

The church is a haven of peace and worship built on the battlefield where in 1066 both Norman and Saxon died and history was made.  The church includes a magnificent transitional nave, a rare wall painting of St Margaret of Antioch c. 1300 and the gilded and painted Alabaster Tomb of Sir Anthony Browne 1548 - the man whom King Henry VIII granted the Abbey.  The visitor can also view the Crusaders' crosses carved by their swords and the superb Senlac window commemorating the battle.

Although now faded, the church once exhibited one of the most impressive painted interiors of the middle ages in Sussex. There are also three brasses of note dating from 1426. Saint Catherine's Chapel is situated at the east end of the south aisle and is avilable for you to pray or meditate in peace and quiet.

When Abbot Ralph founded the church of St. Mary the Virgin for the 'people of Battel', a village grew up around the monastery. The priest in charge was given the style and dignity of DEAN and the parish enjoyed 'PECULIAR' status, outside the authority of the Bishops of Chichester in whose diocese it lay. This privilege survived until 1845. Today the Sovereign is the Patron of the Benefice and the Incumbent is still the Very Reverend the Dean of Battle.

In late 2009 a number of helpful information boards were erected both inside and outside the church which offer the visitor more historic facts.

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