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It is unsure when the first church was built in Hickling, however there was certainly a church at the Norman Conquest as it is recorded in the Domesday book, 1086. The present church was built in the C13 by the Augustinian Canons of Hickling Priory. At the dissolution of the priory in 1536, the church took the dedication to St Mary, which continues to this day. St Mary is said to be a gem of a historic building, in a beautiful setting. The striking west tower is perhaps the best feature of the church. It stands 90 feet high, with diagonal corner buttresses rising over three stages high towards an embattled top. The tower holds five bells which are said to be one of the heaviest rings of five in the country.