St. Mary’s Church
St. Mary’s Church is located in the premises of St. George Fort, in the city of Chennai. Tamil Nadu, the state of which Chennai forms the city, is known for the numerous religious attractions it holds. St. Mary’s Church is grounded towards south west of the city center, the suburb called as George Town. The place as such is quite reachable once you land in the city.
St. Mary’s Church is the oldest surviving institutions established by the British Power in India. The church also happens to be the first Anglican church in the famous city of Chennai. The church is sometimes described as the Westminster Abbey of East. The church was built during 1678 to 1680 A.D. The original structure of the building was given by William Dixon. This structure features a rectangular building of dimensions 60 feet and 90 feet. The structure was designed to with stands the time ravage as well the attacks and invasions. The building as such was provided with an outer wall, with thickness of four feet and the roof with the thickness of two feet. The foundation of the building was laid on the Annunciation day of Virgin Mary, hence the name St. Mary’s Church. The church structure has undergone many changes and modifications with the passage of the time. In the year 1701 A.D church tower was erected. The year 1710 A.D saw the addition of sanctuary and the steeple. The spire was added to the church in the year 1795. The beautiful altar was presented to the church by the princess of Tanjore in the year 1877 A.D. In 1985 A.D restoration works were carried on by the Karaikudu artisans.
The history of the church is marked by different eras and events. The church, when it was built offered first congregation, followed by a different role performed by the church that is Garrison church. In the 21st century the church structure still stands but this time the protective force constitutes to be the Archaeological Survey of India.
The church is built on a good 5400 square feet area, with thick walls and a curved roof. The walls of the structure have been built with bricks and plastered with lime. The steeple, tower and the spire have been added at different times and as such the existing building consists of a medley of styles. The interiors are beautifully adorned with wood works and stained glass. A huge painting depicting the Last Supper comprises the altarpiece. St. Mary’s Church bears rich historical impressions rather than architectural marvels.