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Church of St Martin (Church of England), Preston

Description: Church of St Martin (Church of England)

Grade: II
Date Listed: 8 February 1988
English Heritage Building ID: 162873

OS Grid Reference: TL1785224827
OS Grid Coordinates: 517852, 224827
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9095, -0.2881

Location: Church Lane, Preston, Hertfordshire SG4 7TR

Locality: Preston
Local Authority: North Hertfordshire District Council
County: Hertfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: SG4 7TR

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Listing Text

(North side)

8/81 Church of St. Martin
(C of E)


Parish church. 'Anno Dom:mdcccxcix' carved in SE buttress, 1900 by
Thomas Carter. Roughcast on brick with limestone ashlar and dressings
and steep green slate roof swept down in wide bellcast to eaves of nave.
An unusual small church in the Voysey tradition consisting of a tall
5-bays nave and a narrower square-ended short chancel, both under one
roof. The arch-braced timber nave roof is carried on separate
rectangular piers projecting inside and out and linked by segmental
stone chamfered arches under the eaves and outside the diaphram walls on
the line of the centres of the piers, with a 3-lights mullioned oak
window in each of the 5 bays with segmental arch, metal opening light
and rectangular leaded glazing. The chancel has a deep chamfered stone
plinth and stone buttresses at corners. Tall 2-light S window to chancel
with Dec. tracery and battened door in pointed arched stone doorway next
E corner. E end has moulded gable parapet with apex cross, moulded
string below high 3-lights pointed E window with cinquefoil tracery to
each light. Central gabled buttress stops below sill and divides 2
square-headed narrow single-light windows with trefoil tracery lighting
the narrow space behind the reredos, to which the S door leads. More
dramatic W end with entrance into a canted central projection carried up
to apex of nave and with lead covered moulded offsets carries a tapered
stone bellcote in smooth jointed ashlar, V-shaped to N and S and pierced
by a segmental headed opening with a bell. Lower part of projection in
ashlar with pointed doorway, battened door, and a 2-light square
mullioned stone window on each canted side. Higher up just above eaves
level the gable has a deep ashlar band with a similar stone 2-light
window flanking the central projection and lighting the W gallery. N
side similar to S but no window to chancel and chimney combined with one
buttress and has decorative small tiled gable on each side. Interior has
an octagonal lobby below the W gallery which occupies the W bay of the
nave. The stair is on the N of the lobby, panelled double doors in
centre of panelled screen divided by ovolo moulded posts below moulded
cross-beam supporting simple panelled front to gallery, all painted
white. 5 bays open timber roof with 2 purlins to each slope, exposed
rafter and arched-braced chamfered trusses with high collars and
wall-posts dying into piers. Deep painted moulded cornice at wallplate
level and cove below between piers. Simple plastered interior walls.
Pine woodblock floor in herringbone pattern. Light fittings hung from
each truss of copper with hoop as spreader for 3 pendant bulbs with
small shades. Stone font at NW with plain octagonal bowl on fat stem
faced with short keel-moulded shafts with moulded caps and bases in C13
style, an octagonal step extended to W. Oak cover with iron handle, font
given by Mr. and Mrs. Cazenove. Semi-octagonal panelled oak pulpit at NE
with buttress pilasters and ogee heads to panels raised on chamfered
stone base, given by Francis Newton of Hitchin. Carved oak eagle lectern
at SE. In SE corner a C13 tapered stone coffin lid carved in relief with
slender cross and foliated crosshead. Hollow chamfer over a plain
chamfer. Bottom missing. Found on site of Lutyens' extensions to
Temple Dinsley c.1909 (RCHM (1911)165). Chancel one step up through wide
2-centred stone arch with chamfered jambs but extra deep chamfered order
to head on single hemispherical corbels with moulded circular abacus.
Plastered walls, black and white marble floor and boarded pointed Waggon
roof divided into 3 short bays by moulded wooden arches springing from
moulded corbels below level of deep painted cornice at walltop level.
Central moulded rib to each bay of roof. A narrow vestry space is
divided off at the E end by a plain stone reredos with moulded and
embattled cresting and chamfered door to chancel at N end with depressed
ogee moulded head. Wooden door with 2 vertical panels. Central and set
high is the 3-lights E window in a recess with splayed jambs and with
pointed segmental rear arch. Large statues on pedestals in moulded
cinquefoil ogee-headed niches on each side of window, of St. George on N
and St. Martin on S. Standing figures in Renaissance armour. In S angle
of reredos with S wall a faceted angle-shaft with moulded base and cap
carries a cusped piscina with trefoil drain, chamfered cusped stone
shelf over and ovolo-moulded ogee headed stone canopy across corner
above. Stained glass E window of Jesse tree 1900 by Christopher Whall
(Pevsner(1977)273). Another later stained glass window on S. Stone wall
monument on N wall with marble relief of the Adoration in embattled
stone frame in memory of Leslie Grace [Seebohm]. (Kelly (1914)151:
Pevsner (1977)273: inf Mrs. Nina Freebody).

Listing NGR: TL1785224827

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.