Little Church Marks Big BirthdayThis year sees the 300th year of St Mary the Virgin church in Abbotts Ann. A Grade 1 Listed Building, it is a rare example of a small early Georgian parish church. Funded by Thomas Pitt, grandfather of William Pitt the Elder, who made a fortune from a diamond he obtained in India, St Mary’s was probably designed by the celebrated London architect, John James and retains the original boxed pews. It also houses the largest collection of virgin crowns in the country. This once popular custom provides a crown of paper rosettes and gloves for good people who died unmarried. The crown is hung in church after their funeral. The earliest dates from 1740 and the latest from 1973.

To mark this special occasion there is a weekend full of activities planned. We kicks off proceedings on Friday 22nd of July with a concert by talented youngsters from the village. This will take place in the marquee erected in the grounds of the Old Rectory opposite the church at 7.30pm. Bar open form 6:45pm. Tickets for this are £5 to include a first drink. On the Saturday (23rd July) there is a Flower at the Church form 10am to 5pm which a history exhibition in the church yard displaying the history of the church and also what life was like 300years ago. Should you get hungry then there is ploughman’s lunch in the Grounds of the Old Rectory available from 12noon -3pm.

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To add even more excitement to the weekend Abba’s Angels (an Abba tribute band) will be the entertainment during the evening of Saturday the 23rd July. Revellers are able to bring their own picnics from 7.00 pm and tables and chairs will be provided, as will a pay bar. The concert starts at 8.00p.m. Come in costume (optional). Ticket prices are £15 adults and £7.50 for children (15 and under). All tickets are available from Abbotts Ann Village Shop or Goodworth Clatford Village Stores.

If you were unable to make Saturday, both the Flower festival and History exhibition are also open from 10am -5pm on the Sunday (24th July). Cream teas will be served in the grounds of the Old Rectory from 3-5pm.

Tickets for both concerts available from Abbotts Ann Village Shop cream teas and Ploughman’s paid for on the day.

For more information about St Mary’s and Abbotts Ann visit

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via or alternatively called at