The present church of St Mary sits in the small rural farming village of Freeby. This Grade I listed church is in the care of The Churches Conservation Trust and is constructed from ironstone and limestone.
Much of the building dates from C14th/15th and is Early English and Perpendicular in style. The tower is early C14th while the clerestory and chancel are C15th. The aisles were rebuilt during a phase of restoration in 1893. However, the font is C13th, indicating the earlier foundation of the church.
The church is home to a sizeable maternity colony of Natterer's bats. Common pipistrelles are also known to roost in the building.
The bats cause a significant amount of mess inside the church, especially over the summer during the bat breeding season. All furniture is sheeted in polythene.
The CCT worked with the Bats in Churches project to find ways of engaging people and volunteers to help make the church more presentable to visitors, and to run bat-related training and other events in conjunction with the Leicestershire and Rutland Bat Group.
The Bats in Churches project designed a bespoke interpretation board about the bats at St Mary's.