This Gothic Revival church was designed by the noted architect William Wardell (1823-1899) and built between 1859 and 1871 and forms an intact complex.
The church is of bluestone with freestone dressings. A feature of the front elevation is the dressed bluestone belfry which surmounts the composition; steep sided capping reflects that of the nave roof. The church also features raised lancet windows and steeped buttresses.
St Mary's has been described as William Wardell's most complete Australian parish church and comprises a long nave and aisles, and lopsided chancel under an unbroken roof ridge, side chapels and sacristies. The church is notable for its wealth of internal fittings.
St Mary's church is of architectural and historic importance for the following reasons:
- As one of the most important works of the noted architect William Wardell.
- As Wardell's first church in Victoria and his most complete Australian parish building.
- As an important Victorian period church in the Gothic revival manner.
- For the quality of its internal design features and detailing.