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Description: Church of St Mary
Date Listed: 4 July 1960
English Heritage Building ID: 135030
OS Grid Reference: SO9650514647
OS Grid Coordinates: 396505, 214647
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8304, -2.0521
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COWLEY COWLEY VILLAGE
10/79 Church of St Mary
Anglican parish church, c1200, C13, C15, restored 1872 by Albert
Hartshorne. Nave: limestone rubble, part of south wall and porch,
coursed squared and dressed limestone. Tower and chancel ashlar.
Stone slate roof. Plan: nave with south porch, chancel and west
tower. Nave south wall: three Cl9 lancet windows probably
replacing earlier similar windows; small trefoil-headed lancet far
right to the left of a buttress with offsets. The porch conceals a
plank doorway with decorative C19 hinges within a roll-moulded
pointed surround with a roll-moulded hood with C19 stops in the
form of knights' heads. Large cinquefoil-headed light to the left-
hand return. Three probably C19 lancets and one early lancet to
the north wall; large buttress-like projection towards the east
containing a spiral staircase to the former rood loft, see later.
Chancel with single buttresses with offsets on the north and south
sides and buttressed east end with a single lancet window, single
smaller lancet to the apex of the gable. Two lancets, one with a
restored head, to the south wall. C13 corbel table with double
roll mouldings to the nave and chancel. Three stage tower with
Early English lower stages and a Perpendicular upper stage;
projecting stair turret on the north side with a plank door within
an angular shouldered surround and a single slit light. C19 plank
door within a pointed roll-moulded surround on the west side of the
tower; single lancet window to the south side of the tower;
square stone slab sundial to the stage above; 3-light belfry
windows with crocketed decoration, and blocked central light, the
outer lights have stone slate louvres; panelled pilasters at the
corners of the tower which rise up to a string course below the
battlemented parapet with panelled corner merlons. Chancel gable
coped; cross finials to nave and chancel. Stepped coping and a
roll-cross finial to the porch.
Church interior: plastered. Nave is continuous with the chancel,
their junction being marked by a step. C14 unpanelled wagon roof
to the nave with moulded tie-beams with diamond stops. C19
facetted roof trusses to the chancel with stencilled flowers and
fleur de lys to the soffits of the beams and to the wallplate; the
principal rafters are supported by wall posts rising from Early
English style stone wall posts with moulded capitals and bases;
stone string with dog tooth decoration below the wallplate. C19
plank door at the west end of the nave within a roll-moulded
surround; further opening towards the apex of the gable now with
its head obscured, but with a roll-moulded and casement-moulded
surround. Base of former steps to rood loft towards the east end
of the nave; small triangular-headed piscina in the south wall
opposite. C14 recumbent stone effigy of a priest with ogee-
curved recess with a crocketed finial in the north wall of the
chancel; a projecting corbel with a hole for a light upper left
suggests the recess may once have been used as an Easter sepulchre;-
large C19 trefoil-headed niche in the south wall; the windows of
the chancel except those lighting the westernmost bay have roll-
moulded rere-arches. Red and black tile flooring to the nave.
Ledgers and encaustic tiling to the chancel. C12 circular
limestone font with a decorative band with zig-zag motif around
its outer margin and traces of an incised triangular decoration to
its base which has now been cut away and replaced by a C19
octagonal stone base. C19 pews, choir stalls and reading desk.
C15 stone pulpit carved from a single stone block with crudely
carved blind tracery with C19 limestone base and steps with a
wrought iron railing. C19 communion rail with wrought iron
uprights and a wooden railing. Simple C19 wooden communion table.
C19 marble reredos incorporating a mosaic of the last supper.
Organ at the west end of the nave. Monuments: 3 simple white on
black marble monuments over the south door. Four C17 and two C18
ledgers within the chancel, one to Margaret Brett, wife of Henry
Brett, died 1645 another to Dame Henrietta Brownlowe, daughter of
Henry Brett (q.v. Cowley Manor). Three circular hanging
candelabra, now upturned and fitted with light bulbs. C19 stained
glass to the windows of the chancel.
(David Verey, The Buildings of England: The Cotswolds; and V.C.H.
Glos. Vol VII)
Listing NGR: SO9650514647
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.