The first recorded vicar of Fishguard was John Mabus in 1403. So this site has been a place of worship since at least this date. The church prior to the existing one, was much smaller and by the mid 1800s was in a dilapidated state.
It was decided that a new Church should be built and Thomas Clark of Trowbridge was its architect. Despite him offering his services free of charge, the construction cost amounted to £1661. The sketch above is of St Mary’s Church, drawn prior to its construction between 1855 and 1857. The new church seated 550 people, six times more than the previous one.
The new St Mary’s has a wonderful collection of stained glass windows including two modern ones by John Petts. Unusually for an Anglican church there is a baptistery pool under the floor in front of the rood screen. The screen commemorates those of the parish who died in the First and Second World Wars.
It has a balcony which was added to accommodate visiting fishermen. The churchyard is now closed, with burials taking place in a new burial ground a mile out of town on the B4313. A memorial stone to Jemima Nicholas, a heroine of the 1797 failed French invasion, is on the exterior south side.
For lots more information about St Mary’s visit https://parish.churchinwales.org.uk/d287/history-en/history-of-st-marys-fishguard/