St Mary’s church was built in the 13th century and was Newtown’s parish church for 500 years. However it was frequently flooded by the river and a new parish church, St David’s was built on higher ground in 1847. Some parishioners were reluctant to relocate to the new church, so the nave and chancel remained in use until 1863 when the roof blew off in a storm. Even then services continued in the room at the base of the tower until about 1916.
The tomb of Robert Owen, the world renowned social reformer is enclosed behind the commemorative railings.
There is also a plaque commemorating Thomas Powell, a leading local member of the Chartist movement.