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Description: Church of St Martin
Date Listed: 20 September 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 193098
OS Grid Reference: SK9827043573
OS Grid Coordinates: 498270, 343573
Latitude/Longitude: 52.9805, -0.5378
There is also a scheduled monument, Ancaster Roman settlement, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.
Explore more of the area around Ancaster, Lincolnshire at Explore Britain.
SK 94 SE ANCASTER MAIN STREET
6/7 (west side)
20-9-66 Church of St Martin
Parish Church. C11, C12, C13, C14, C15, 1713, restored in C19. Coursed lime-
stone rubble, ashlar, slate and lead roofs. West tower, nave, north and
south aisles, chancel. C14 west tower of 3 stages with recessed spire
lit by 2 tiers of double and one of single lucarnes on alternating faces.
Tower has angle buttresses and a plinth with string courses separating
the stages. Lit by 2 light window with trefoils over in west wall of
ground floor and a single trefoil headed light with ogee hood mould in
the west face of the middle stage. 4 paired ogee headed openings with
quatrefoils above in the belfry stage. Later flat headed door in the
south side. Parapet has gargoyles at angles and the buttress tops have
foliated gables with projecting grotesque figures. Stair in south east
angle, partly supported on decorated corbels with crouched figures
in the angles between the buttresses and the tower walls, and lit by
small rectangular barred openings. North wall of nave has C15 paired
clerestorey lights beneath 4 centred moulded arches and is surmounted
by an embattled and pinnacled roof with gargoyles and shield and lozenge
frieze. North aisle has a C13 lancet window in the west wall, a now
blocked Transitional doorway with dogtoothed jambs in the north, as well
as a 3 light C15 window beneath a flat lintel with hood mould. In the
east wall of the aisle is a probably repositioned C14 geometric window
with 3 short trefoil headed lights beneath 2 circles, each containing
paired mouchettes, the whole surmounted by a quatrefoil,and contained
in a pointed arch with a hood mould. This window is placed in the blocking
of a C13 archway which doubtless lead into a now vanished north chapel,
as did the similar blocked archway in the north wall of the chancel and
the blocked access to the rood loft in the angle between the chancel and
the aisle. North wall of the chancel has a C12 corbel table reset in the
C19, with simple rounded pendent corbels, one of which has a castellated
design upon it, and most of which bear masons' marks where not abraded.
There is a 2 light C19 window in the north wall. Although principally
of ashlar, the north chancel wall and the east aisle wall both have short
runs of coursed limestone rubble. Also, built into the later parts of the
wall, are 9 fragments of a probably Saxon tympanum. The east wall of the
chancel is of good ashlar and is basically C12, since it is in build with
2 nook shafted Norman lights which were superseded when the present C14
reticulated east window was inserted. C12 also are the chamfered plinth
and the shallow pilasters near the angles of the chancel. In the east
walls of the tower and the nave, earlier, steeper, roof pitches are
visible. The south wall of the chancel has a Norman corbel table and plinth
as well as a section of string course at the east end which is presumably
contemporary. A C14 2 light trefoil headed window with quatrefoil cuts
through the site of a Norman window of which only the western jamb to
impost level and part of the sill remain. The impost has a reeded horizontal
moulding on it and the stone beneath has the same mason's mark as the 3rd
corbel from the west above, thus demonstrating its C12 date. However, this
C12 window itself cuts an earlier blocked opening to the west, fragments
of the jambs and sill of which survive. This window is in build with the
coursed rubble walling at this point. The blocked window and the evidence
of a cruciform plan provided by the coarse walling here and elsewhere
together indicate the existence of a Saxon cruciform church, perhaps
of minster status. Further evidence of the primacy of the rubble walling
is provided by the presence of a C12 buttress with plinth in the angle
between the south aisle and the chancel, built up against an existing
wall which, unlike the Norman parts of the structure, has no plinth at
existing ground level. Otherwise the chancel south wall has a C15
2 light window with ogee heads and quatrefoil beneath a central
trefoil and surmounted by a heavy rounded hood mould. There is also
a C14 door with a pointed chamfered head and semicircular hood mould.
South nave wall has elaborate castellated and pinnacled clerestorey of
2 light windows arranged in pairs, and gargoyles. The south aisle has
a C15 roof matching that of the nave, with castellations, pinnacles and
gargoyles; both nave and aisle have cusped lozenge and shield friezes.
One C15 triple light window with ogee heads and trefoils beneath a
segmental moulded hood mould. Further west is a C14 2 light window
with ogee heads and quatrefoil. South porch is C13 withes pointed
moulded arch, label stops removed. Top reconstructed with present low
roof pitch in 1713, date recorded in a gable plaque. Inside the porch are
side benches and 2 C14 tomb covers bearing effigies of robed priests, one
with a chalice, the other with hands clasped in prayer. Also a 1914-18
wall plaque in the Gothic taste. South door has a bizarre trefoil
head with pointed chamfered hood mould.
Inside, Norman north arcade of 4 bays, first a step, second a step and
a roll, third a large roll with billet decoration, and the fourth with
deep chevrons in 2 orders. South arcade of 3 bays, piers decorated with
4 angle shafts in the principal directions; the 2 piers stand on the
circular base of an earlier C12 nave arcade. Piers have octagonal capitals
and abaci with above double chamfered arches. C15 figured corbels to
nave roof and C14 ones in south aisle; one of them has triple human masks.
C14 roof fragments repositioned in C19 nave roof are flattish figures in
a rustic style. There are 3 similar figures on the principal trusses of
the south aisle roof. Tower arch is very tall, C14, with triple shafts
connected by continous hollows with annular capitals and heavily moulded
head. A door above the tower arch has a pointed head with a corbel beneath.
Double chamfered chancel arch is early C13 with collared angle shafts and
nailhead decorated octagonal capitals with C19 label stops to hood mould.
C15 square headed aumbries in north and south walls of the chancel.
All glass and fittings C19 apart from the altar rail of circa 1700, very
chaste with elegant turned balusters, and the font which is a C12 lead
lined tub with continuous tall intersecting pelleted blank arcading on its
sides. Monuments include a wall plaque to Elizabeth Long, d.1743, in the
north aisle with a trumpeting angel and scrolly pediment. C19 wall
plaques to the Allix family of Sudbrook Hall in the chancel. Marble
plaque depicting a female mourning figure next to a wreathed urn, John Roe,
d. 1765, by T. King of Bath of the north chancel wall. Three further
C18 wall plaques in the south aisle, one with a heavy broken pediment and
flaming urn dated 1756.
Listing NGR: SK9827043573
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.