The Church of St Mary the Virgin

St Mary’s is a small Norman church standing beside Wiston Hall near the river Stour. A charter shows that it was definitely in existence by 1135 but may well be older. The ecclesiastical parish of Wiston (or Wissington) is still a separate parish, although it has shared the benefice with Nayland since 1924, and is indeed much the older, if much the smaller parish.

The fine south doorway and chancel arch are true Norman, although the apse and the narrow south windows are Victorian restoration. The walls are covered with faded medieval wall paintings including one of the first ever English paintings of St Francis. The Victorian Vicar added his own ideas of what a Norman church should have, but he used local craftsmen and restored the damaged fabric very carefully. His romantic, slightly over-Norman interior, with its medieval wall painting and some good Victorian stained glass, make the church well worth a visit.

Wall paintings dating from c.1280

One of the earliest English images of St. Francis of Assisi