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Church of St Mary, Fairford

Description: Church of St Mary

Grade: I
Date Listed: 26 November 1958
English Heritage Building ID: 129697

OS Grid Reference: SP1515401169
OS Grid Coordinates: 415154, 201169
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7091, -1.7821

Location: 1 High Street, Fairford, Gloucestershire GL7 4AD

Locality: Fairford
Local Authority: Cotswold District Council
County: Gloucestershire
Country: England
Postcode: GL7 4AD

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Listing Text


(west side)

13/141 Church of St. Mary



Anglican parish church. Base of tower early C15, remainder
completely rebuilt by John Tame and his son Edmund, from c1480 into
early C16. Restored 1852 and 1890. An intact example of the
Perpendicular style. Ashlar on moulded plinth with embattled
parapet over string course and crocketed pinnacles between and in
centre of bays, roofs not visible, presumably lead. Nave with
clerestorey, chancel, with central tower and aisles running almost
up to east end on both sides, single storey vestry on north side at
east end, large south porch. Tower of 2 stages above clerestorey
with string courses, corner buttresses with large carved figure to
each, rising to twin pinnacles, and with pierced quatrefoil
parapet. Belfry stage has 2 long trefoil head openings, blind at
top and with belfry louvres below, with 2 niches between, one above
the other. Lower stage has clock face to south and small trefoil
head window to each face, with blind quatrefoil over except for
south side. Aisles of 7 bays with 4-light windows with stepped
buttresses between bays and carved heads on string course above
each window and on hoodmould stops. Clerestorey has four 3-light
windows with continuous dripmould. On south side, porch in bay 3
from west with large pointed archway and square hoodmould with
carved spandrels and niche wth Virgin and Child over, panelled
internal walls, fan vaulted ceiling and original studded oak door
with postern set into it. West end has very large main window of 7
lights with 2 king mullions, and one transom with large cusped
trefoil head lights below and cusped ogees above. Four-centred
archway below with square hoodmould, quatrefoils and mouchettes in
spandrels, and jamb colonettes. Flanking 5-light aisle windows
also with transom, with cusped arches below transom. Five-light
east window in similar style.
Interior: 4-bay nave arcade with 16 shafts to piers, moulded ridge
beam and principals supported on stone angel corbels. Octagonal
font. Some early masonry survives in tower, with remains of wall
paintings. Contemporary wood screens to choir, carved choir stalls
with misericords probably brought from elsewhere. High Altar by
Sir Ninian Comper, 1920. C12 lectern in south aisle chapel
originally had chains and Matthews Bible of 1551, Bible and chains
now removed for safe keeping. The stained glass forms an almost
unique intact series of windows, c1500, painted largely by Barnard
Flower, Henry VII's Master Glass Painter. The programme covers the
Old and New Testaments and follows a carefully laid out scheme.
Three monuments to the Tame family - chest to John Tame (died 1500)
and his 2 wives, in Purbeck marble between the Choir and Lady
Chapel, under the parclose screen. One floor and one wall brass to
Edmund Tame (died 1534) within the Lady Chapel. Chest tomb to
Roger Lygon and wife Katharine, widow of Sir Edmund Tame II,
erected 1575, also in Lady Chapel. A detailed account of the
interior and in particular of the stained glass is given in the
local church guide, and in David Verey, The Buildings of England,
Gloucestershire: the Cotswolds, 1979.

Listing NGR: SP1515401168

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.