May 29, 2024

St.Marys Church at Fort St George

 The St Mary's church is the oldest building constructed by the British in India housed at Fort St. George in Chennai. This ancient British Anglican Church is also called as the “Westminster Abbey of East”.

Sir Streynsham master, who was representing the East India Company in Madras (now Chennai), realized the need of a Chapel for the religious practices and rituals. So he started the construction of a Church on the Lady Day, that is, on 25th March 1678. The consecration ceremony was conducted on 28th October 1680. Within such a short span of time, the magnificent building was constructed in the British style of Architecture. As the building had a bomb-proof roof, it was used as a barrack and granary between 1758 and 1759 during the Second Carnatic War with the French.

St Mary’s Church is one of the finest examples of British Architecture in India, designed to catch even the slightest hint of a breeze off the sea; a haven of relative coolness in the sweltering heat of a south Indian summer. Inside the church is a plethora of memorials to officers and civilians of the East India Company who died far from home, sometimes in battle but more often from the combination of tropical heat and disease

At the west end of the nave is a 
 gallery, resting on carved Burma teak pillars, which 
 housed the seat for the Governor..

In 1753 Robert Clive married Margaret Maskelyne at this church.

An unsigned portrait of the last supper, an Altarpiece which was said to be a pure betray of Raphaelite school where Raphael himself sketched the figures, itt was brought to Chennai after it was spoilt by the British troops.

On the 15th August 1947 the 1st Battalion of the Essex Regiment marched out of the Fort and was replaced by the 3rd Sikh Light Infantry. Since then the Church has been administered by the Church of South India and it is beautifully maintained.


  1. The investments made in religion are staggering.

  2. The church interior looks exquisite

  3. The church inside reminds me of an Anglican Church in Hobart our Capital city.
    The photos you have shown of St. Mary's are lovely.

  4. This church would look at home at England!

  5. What an interesting history it has! Beautiful church...

  6. Anonymous11:40 PM

    So beautiful.