Tenby, St Mary's Church
Tenby, St Mary's Church
St Mary's is one of the largest parish churches in Wales, and boasts a 152-ft spire. Begun in the 13th century, and enlarged in the 15th century, the church has a wagon roof in the chancel, decorated with carved bosses. The church is full of memorials from the 15th-19th centuries.
There was a Norman church on this site, but the earliest part of the current building dates to the 13th century. The chancel is from that period, as is the tower base.

The real highlight inside St Mary's is the beautifully carved chancel roof, with a panelled ceiling decorated with 75 carved bosses. Among the figures depicted are a mermaid, fish, grotesque beasts, and many different foliage and floral designs.

There are a pair of medieval chapels; the St Thoma Chapel is mid-15th century and the St Nicholas Chapel was built around 1485. Other highlights include a 15th century font, and there is a second font, dating to the 19th century.

Of the numerous memorials to local worthies, 2 stand out, to Thomas and John White. Both served as mayors of Tenby in the 15th century. Thomas White made his reputation by helping Henry Tudor hide from agents of King Richard III. There is an ashlar table tomb to Bishop Robert Tully of St Davids (d 1482) and a monument to Margaret ap Rees of Scotsborough (d 1610).

Look for the Elizabethan mural tablet to Richard Recorde (1512–1558), who was the first to use an equals sign (=) in mathematical equations in his 1557 work 'The Whetstone of Witte'. Recorde was also the royal physician to both Edward VI and Mary I, and served as Controller of the Royal Mint. Sadly, Recorde was imprisoned for debt, and died in the King's Bench Prison in Southwark at the age of just 46.