The History of St.Mary’s Church, Willesden
The ancient grey stone church of St. Mary, Willesden stands today in its large churchyard, near the roundabout where Neasden Lane meets Church Road and Willesden Lane. The first record of a church on the site was in A.D.1181, when monks from St. Paul’s Cathedral visited and made a description of the church and its contents. The small rectangular stone building was enlarged by 1200 A D., the date of the next “visitation.” Side aisles and a tower had been added.
Between 1475 and 1538 St Mary’s was a nationally famous place of pilgrimage, rivalling Walsingham. The statue of the Black Virgin was supposed to perform miracles, but was burned on a bonfire at Chelsea, on the orders of Henry VIII at the time of the Reformation. The Church has had several restorations, especially during Victorian Times.
Inside you can see the Norman font, a 14th century door and a fine selection of medieval brasses.