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Church of St Mary, Kempley

Description: Church of St Mary

Grade: I
Date Listed: 2 October 1954
English Heritage Building ID: 125946

OS Grid Reference: SO6698731257
OS Grid Coordinates: 366987, 231257
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9788, -2.4820

Location: Kempley, Gloucestershire GL18 2AT

Locality: Kempley
Local Authority: Forest of Dean District Council
County: Gloucestershire
Country: England
Postcode: GL18 2AT

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Listing Text

SO 63 SE

4/128 Church of St. Mary


Former Parish Church, now in the care of the DOE. C12, C13, C14,
late C17, restored C19, C20. Squared, coursed stone with ashlar
dressings: timber-framed porch on stone plinth, stone slates.
Nave, chancel, west tower, south porch. South face: squat west
tower, large square-set buttresses project to south, 3 offsets.
Pointed lancet to ground floor, slight offset above, further
pointed lancet. Sundial on right above buttress. Slightly
projecting eaves: low pyramid roof; flat-roofed, square, louvred
dormers each face; weathervane with gilded cock on apex. Nave:
chamfered plinth. Porch towards left, open end with arch braces
with moulded edge: cambered tie beam, collar. Left side 2 panels
high, curved braces halved over rail, brick infill below, wattle
and daub above. On right rail lower, board below, rendered infill
above, probably originally with central window, one mullion
surviving. Internally, half truss, repeated against nave, one
pair clasped purlins, curved braces, no ridge timber. C12 boarded
door with original half-moon hinges, in flat-headed opening,
columns each side, with remains of holy water stoop projecting on
right: scalloped capitals with volutes. Semi-circular tympanum
with tree of life, chevron moulding, plain hoodmould. To right 2-
light reticulated-tracery window; late C17 segmental-headed window
for pulpit with leaded lights. Three late C17, early C18
headstones against wall below. Set-back for chancel; chamfered
plinth; blocked doorway on left; mid C20 concrete buttress faced
sawn stone; trefoil-headed lancet to right. East wall, widish
semi-circular headed lancet with roll moulding to edge: small
lancet in gable: small stone cross on ridge. North side: tower
flush with nave, very small buttress on right at foot: two
lancets; roof as south. Nave: semi-circular headed wide C17
window, chamfered edge, original iron opening light. Set back for
chancel: arched opening for door, one stone to arch set
irregularly: original boarded door and hinges. Buttress on left
as south side, and window. West face, plain wall to tower
spreading into buttress on south: very small buttresses left and
right, large plinth between. On quoin to main south buttress
inscription commemorates John Prescott, died 1693. Two lancets:
roof as south side.
Interior: nave, thin plaster on stonework, original boarded door
to tower, half-moon hinges, corner columns with scalloped capitals,
plain, semi-circular tympanum, roll moulding above, chamfered
hoodmould. Semi-circular headed window above, with stepped sill.
Chancel arch in 2 orders, Ionic volute to inner capitals with roll
moulding to semi-circular arch, scalloped capitals to outer with
chevron moulding to arch, and to hoodmould. Flat-headed boarded
door to chancel roof space above left. Trefoil-headed piscina by
pulpit. Flat boarded ceiling on exposed joists, all save
easternmost 6 chamfered:, each joist sits on a moulded baluster-
like pilaster, on a corbel, at each end (actually replacing ashlar
pieces). TH 1670 carved on one pilaster, 1671 on one joist:
traces of painting on joists. Roof above original C12 rafters,
high collars with 2 vertical struts, housings for original low
collars (slightly above present ceiling) and 3 hangers: angle
strut now each side. Chancel, plastered walls, roll moulding to
east window, semi-circular headed aumbry on left, plastered barrel
vault ceiling. Roof above 3 bay, late C19 or early C20 king-post
trusses with iron bolts, 1 pair purlins. Square holes left by
erection of scaffolding visible in tower. Frescoes: most
complete sequence in England to chancel, c1130-40: each side 6
apostles in niches, chequer work on window reveals, architectural
feature over. Roundels over window on east, bishop to south.
Christ in majesty on vault with seraphim and signs of 4
evangelists. Nave: two periods on south wall, one above other:
chequer pattern and possibly doom on east wall, wheel of life on
north, with figures to east (probably C14). Pulpit semi-octagonal
wooden, either Jacobean or 1913: single C17 pews at rear. Font,
plain circular bowl on stem, brought from Blaisdon 1913. Marble
wall monument, 1722, to Pyndar family, Doric pilasters, cornice,
urn and lamps, gadrooning and consoles: late C17 monument by door.
Glass in east window by Kempe (1876). C14 chest. Norman church,
tower added C13, porch C14. Wall paintings discovered in 1872 by
John Middleton, restored 1950's by Mrs. E. Baker. Church restored
1913 by Temple Moore, gallery removed either then or in 1870's.
Further restoration late C20.
(Kelly's Directory of Gloucestershire, 1881; D. Verey,
Gloucestershire, The Vale and the Forest of Dean, 1970.)

Listing NGR: SO6698531259

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.