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Parish Church of St Mary, Rochester

Description: Parish Church of St Mary

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 16 May 1991
English Heritage Building ID: 173221

OS Grid Reference: TQ7387469521
OS Grid Coordinates: 573874, 169521
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3981, 0.4981

Location: 3 Vicarage Road, Strood, Medway ME2 4HY

Locality: Rochester
County: Medway
Country: England
Postcode: ME2 4HY

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Listing Text

TQ 76 NW
2/286 Parish Church of
St Mary
16.5.91 II*

Parish Church. 1868-9 by Arthur Blomfield. Built and endowed
by Mary, widow of John Griffith, Dean of Rochester. Snecked
rubble ragstone; Kent tile roof. Yellow brick interior, with red
brick dressings. Nave (with W narthex and gallery), N and S
aisles, S porch S transept, chancel with N aisle. W front: an
original well detailed design. Shallow gabled porch with
limestone coping, vesica (containing small figure of Christ in
Majesty) to gable wall, 2-centre arched portal with detached
shafts. Buttresses to either side, that to the right (s) serving
also as a stair turret. Tripartite W window arrangement (2 light
window flanked by lancets); projecting statue niche above;
complicated buttressing marks the transition between the W wall
and polygonal apex belcote, with spirelet. The rest of the
exterior is more straightforward: 5-bay nave and 3-bay chancel
with clerestory (2-light clerestory windows under hood moulds),
paired lancets to aisles. 3 stepped lancets to E end. Interior:
nave piers of quatrefoil section with fine stiff-leaf capitals,
arches under continuous hood moulds with foliated corbels; poly-
chromatic brick work to spandrels and clerestory walls; roof,
boarded and canted with paired principals. Elaborate W end
arrangement: the 3 W windows deeply recessed under 3 stepped
super-ordinate arches the shafts enclosing a gallery (over the
narthex) which is pierced by 2:3:2 arches with marble shafts.
2 lancets flank central doorway below legend recording endowment
of the church by Mary Griffith, 1869. Chancel, raised by 3
steps, moulded arch of 3 orders on tall shafts and foliated
corbels. Side elevations treated differently: to the N, 2-bay
arcade of richly moulded arches on paired shaft with foliated
capitals; to the S, ie towards the organ chamber, a tall moulded
super-ordinate arch with 2 subordinate arches and large cusped
roundel. Chancel walls decorated in herringbone brick and
mastic. (Stepped E lancets contain Expressionist glass by
William G Blyth). Reredos: tripartite arrangement, the centre
with Supper at Emmaus (by T Bromfield), of excellent quality,with
side panels of mosaics by Salviati. Tiled floors. Full fittings
include sanctuary rails, open-fronted stalls, open benches to
nave; stone front and openwork wooden pulpit. Overall an
outstanding church described by Newman (Buildings of England,
1980 edition, p 551) as 'thoroughly convincing ... tautly
designed and with an excellent use of materials', and one of
Blomfield's best works.

Listing NGR: TQ7387669490

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.