St. Mary’s is located at the top of the hill in Benfleet highstreet. After the Norman conquest of England in 1066, a small church was built on the site of the current one (c.1067). Its western wall still forms part of the church today. In the 1100s the church as we know it was built as a major extension of the 1067 one. In the 1300s the tower was built. The intricatley-carved timber south porch was added a century later.
The gravestones in the churchyard reflect chaning trends in grave design; from the skull and crossbones common in the 17 and 1800s that symbolised morality, to the angel and trumpet carvings popular in the Victorian era representing ‘judgement day’.