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Description: Abbey Church of St Michael and All Angels
Date Listed: 22 October 1986
English Heritage Building ID: 155338
OS Grid Reference: SO4821038149
OS Grid Coordinates: 348210, 238149
Latitude/Longitude: 52.0393, -2.7564
CLEHONGER CP BELMONT
SO 43 NE
3/38 Abbey Church of
St Michael and all Angels
Church. Benedictine Priory established here c1854 as house of studies for
English Benedictine Congregation, as Independent Monastery 1920. Monks
served as Canons of the Chapter and Church as Cathedral of Roman Catholic
diocese of Newport and Menevia 1850 - 1920. Nave, c1854-6, aisled chancel,
crossing and transepts c1856-9, Chancel extended 1865. South-east chapel,
to St Benedict, completed 1875. Top stage of tower completed 1882. Organ
chamber probably 1886. By Edward Welby Pugin, except top stage of tower (which was by Pugin and Pugin). For F W Wegg-Prosser. Sandstone ashlar, Bath stone and
tiled roofs. Cruciform plan with aisled three-bay nave, aisled four-bay choir,
transepts with crossing tower, two-bay sanctuary, two south chapels, north
organ chamber and north porch. High Victorian Gothic style. Tower has
embattled parapet with stepped merlons, weathered gabled angle buttresses.
Two stages, the lower one with two lancets to each face. Upper stage has
a pair of tall deeply moulded 2-centred openings to each face of bell-chamber.
Each opening has two trefoil-headed lights with trefoiled and quatrefoiled
tracery and a label with head-stops. Beneath the parapet is a corbelled frieze
running into clasping buttresses with corner gargoyles. On the upper part of
the lower stage of the south side is a clock. Nave has recessed west window,
flanked by two colonnettes, with five cinquefoil-headed lights beneath a com-
plex cruciform wheel light and moulded label. In the gable top is a curved
triangular window with three multi-foiled lights. Aisles each have west window
of two trefoil-headed lights with mouchette and quatrefoil tracery and labels
with unfinished stops. Four weathered buttresses, the inner pair of which rise
to gables and have panelled zones with cinquefoiled heads divided by wall shafts.
Low west door has five orders including three colonnettes. Label has unfinished
stops. Each of the three bays of the nave has two clerestory windows with two
trefoil-headed lights and tracery. South aisle has three windows each of three
cinquefoil-headed lights, the centre one advanced under a steep gable to form
a chapel, formerly south porch. To either side of north porch are two similar
windows. North porch to centre bay of nave has a steep gable enclosing a
tabernacle containing an effigy of Christ holding a lamb. Doorway has a fillet
moulded shaft to each side of moulded 2-centred head. Each return has an
acutely traceried window with two trefoil-headed lights. North transept has
traceried north window of four trefoil-headed lights. In the gable top are
three lights. One is in the form of a quatrefoil, another, on the same level,
is a trefoil. Between and above is an oculus. All three have semi-circular
labels. West side has a window with two trefoil-headed lights, beneath which
is a low projection with two narrow trefoil-headed lights. Attached to the
east of the transept is an organ chamber with a steeply pitched pavilion roof
and an open quatrefoil frieze set in lozenges. East window of north chancel
aisle has three trefoil-headed lights and quatrefoil tracery. Above are two
cross-gables. The Sanctuary extension to the east of the chancel, or monks'
choir, has a deeply moulded plinth, deep lower zone with angels in quatrefoils
bearing the inscription QUIS UT DUES. The north and south elevations have two
gabled projections each containing a window with three trefoil-headed lights.
The gables have gargoyles above corner colonnettes and crocketted apices.
The upper fenestrated stage is divided from the lower blind zone by a
string linking to the adjacent gabled and weathered buttresses. East window
has five lights with cinquefoiled heads and wheel tracery with revolving
mouchettes. Gable top has quatrefoil light under label and cross. South-
east chapel to St Benedict has traceried roundel to east end. Two windows
to south each with three trefoil-headed lights and tracery. Between the
chapel and the south transept is a pair of windows each with two trefoil-
headed lights and multi-lobed tracery. South transept has a large traceried
south window with four trefoil-headed lights. In the gable are three lights
similar to those of the opposite transept, with unfinished label stops.
Interior of north porch has scissor-brace trusses, brattished wall-plates to
roof and water stoup in trefoil-headed niche. North doorway has 2-centred
head, labelwith head stops and a pair of shafts with fillets. Nave roof
supported from corbelled wall shafts has arch-braces to collars and two rows
of wind-braces. Three-bay arcade has moulded arches, oak leaf and acorn
decoration to capitals of piers formed of four clustered half-shafts. Corbels
above, which carry the wall shafts, are each decorated with an angel. The
eastern arches of the aisles have mouldings, decorated with ball-flowers, which
die into the jambs. Western crossing arch has deep mouldings also dying into
jambs, label with heavy head stops and capitals with two tiers of foliage.
In the south chapel is a reliquary containing a fragment of the head of St
Thomas Cantelupe, events of whose life are illustrated in stained glass in
the main west window of the nave. In the nave aisles are stained glass windows
of martyrs including Richard Whiting, last Abbot of Glastonbury, St Thomas More,
Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland, and SS Robert, Athananius, Wilfred and
Bernard of Clairvaux. On the south-west crossing pier is a white marble memorial
with Crucifixion and achievement of the founder
PRAY FOR THE SOUL OF FRANCIS RICHARD
WEGG.PROSSER THE FOUNDER OF THIS CHURCH
WHO DIED AUGUST XVI MCMXI AGED LXXXVII
ON WHOSE SOUL JESU HAVE MERCY. AMEN.
Crossing vault has elaborate pattern of berries and bosses partly carried
by diagonal ribs resting on four corbels each with the symbol of one of the
evangelists. Under the crossing a late C20 mensa. North transept has a
panelled wagon roof. Against the north wall the chest tomb of Bishop Thomas
Brown, died 1880, has a recumbent figure enclosed by pairs of marble columns
rising to crocketted cusped gables and a voluted canopy. The stained glass
window above depicts SS Germanus, Dubricuis, David and Teluanus. To the east
is the effigy and tomb of the next bishop, John Hedley. Nearby a piscina
with trefoiled head and square-panelled back. Organ to the east of north
transept was moved there in 1886. Oak with arcade, central manual and super-
structure of three major panels. South transept has late C19 statue of The
Virgin and Child. Choir has panelled wagon roof. Arcades have richly carved
clustered foliated capitals and one central red granite column to each side.
Mouldings of arches die into stilted jambs. Above each arcade is a deep
enriched string representing the height of the choir before it was raised and
extended. Above each string is a pair of gabled windows. Choir stalls have
cinquefoil decoration. Lectern by Hardman is brass and has tripod base decorated
with lions. South choir aisle, the Lady Chapel, has C15 statue of St John the
Apostle, from the Augustinian Priory of Shobden with the label
Capt the Honble Charles
Stanhope Bateman Hanbury
Sanctuary to east of choir, now the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament has
each of its side walls divided by a single red-brown column, now painted
over. The window projecting behind to north and south are partly lined with
brown and white marble. Piscina with nodding ogeed head. Reredos by Hardman,
altered and restored 1978, in front of which in the floor, is the original
mensa. East window has stained glass depicting St Michael and the nine choirs
of angels. St Benedict's Chapel to south-east contains relic of the True
Cross in ornate reliquary in south wall. Reredos depicting St Benedict's
early life and his death at Monte Casino. Stained glass in west window shows
St Wulstan, last Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Worcester at The Confessor's tomb.
(Belmont Abbey Guide Book; BOE, p 101).
Listing NGR: SO4821038149
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.