St Mary's Church, Chennai (Madras)

St. Mary's Church (Tamil: புனித மேரி தேவாலயம்) located at Fort St George, is the oldest Anglican church (Church of South India) East of Suez and also the oldest British building in India. The church is popularly known as the 'Westminster Abbey of the East'.HistoryFrom 1639, when Madras was founded, until 1678, when Streynsham Master was appointed the English East India Company's Agent at Madras, religious services were conducted in the dining-room of the Factory House. It was at Master's initiative, and without the sanction of the Directors of the Company, that a subscription was started for the construction of the church.The sum collected amounted to 805 pagodas with the Governor and other officers contributing. Construction was started on 25 March 1678 - Lady Day, whereby the church acquired its name. The church was rendered the only bomb-proof building at the time, in the Fort, on account of a peculiarly designed roof, details of which are provided under Architecture.Construction was completed in the course of two years and the church was consecrated on 28 October 1680 by the chaplain Rev. Richard Portman. The ceremony was marked by the firing of small arms and cannon by the fort's garrison.On account of its peculiar roof-structure, the church was used as a barrack and granary between December, 1758 and January, 1759 during the Second Carnatic War, when the French besieged Madras and again when Hyder Ali invaded the town in the late 18th century.
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St Mary's Church Reviews
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  • August 16, 2017
    Also know as "the westminster Abbey of the East" this oldest British building in India this church was constructed in 1678 AD. The church is in Fort St.George and the church building has two aisles an...  more »
  • August 7, 2017
    It is the first English church in the colony, we could say without fear of being wrong that was within the strong San Jorge. A little obsolete, the note is although there are staff keeping the place, ideal to rest and give thanks for the journey to this distant land.
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  • May 18, 2017
    Built in 1680, and within Fort St George. Nice place. It is a must see place. Old records are preserved here.  more »
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  • July 4, 2017
    Usually crowded wearing a festive look but well regulated and worth visiting.
  • June 13, 2017
    It's one of the famous church in chennai
  • December 27, 2016
    Oldest yet beautiful church dedicated to St. Antony and our beloved Mother Mary.
  • April 20, 2017
    Every ppl use to visit on Friday to Sunday
  • July 9, 2017
    Silent and divine place

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