The majority of the remaining St Mary's Church dates from the 15th century with some features retained from the 13th century. There is believed to have been a church on the site since Norman times, and Gerald of Wales is counted as the earliest Rector of Tenby.
The 13th century chancel has a 'wagon' roof and the panelled ceiling has 75 bosses carved in a variety of designs including foliage, grotesques, fishes, a mermaid, and a green man, as well as the figure of Jesus surrounded by the four Apostles. St. Thomas' Chapel was added in the mid-15th Century, and the St. Nicholas Chapel was added c. 1485. The spire is also a 15th-century addition. Inside the church is a 15th-century font and a 15th-century bell, cast with the letters Sancta Anna.
The tower is positioned to one side of the chancel and dates from the late 13th century. The first floor served as a chapel, and still has a stone altar and piscina in place.
The church has two fonts, one dating from the 15th century and another late Gothic example from the 19th century.
The church contains several memorials, including the tombs of Thomas and John White, both Mayors of Tenby in the fifteenth century. Thomas White was famous for hiding a young Henry Tudor from King Richard III.
In the churchyard, 20 metres west of the church, are the remains of what is believed to be a late 15th-century choir school or college. The wall includes a pointed arched doorway.References:
Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.
The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.
Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.
The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.
Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.