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Church of St Mary, Stow

Description: Church of St Mary

Grade: I
Date Listed: 16 December 1964
English Heritage Building ID: 197095

OS Grid Reference: SK8819081999
OS Grid Coordinates: 488190, 381999
Latitude/Longitude: 53.3276, -0.6773

Location: Church Road, Stow, Lincolnshire LN1 2DE

Locality: Stow
Local Authority: West Lindsey District Council
County: Lincolnshire
Country: England
Postcode: LN1 2DE

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument, Site of a College and Benedictine Abbey, St Mary's Church, 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 Stow, Lincolnshire at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

(north side)

4/48 Church of St.Mary
G.V. I

Parish church. c.1034-49, c.1090, c.1150, c.1170, C13, early
C15, chancel restored 1850-2, remainder restored 1864-7 by J. L.
Pearson on both occasions, 1983. Uncoursed and coursed
limestone rubble, limestone ashlar, lead roofs with stone coped
gables and cross finials of various designs. Some slate. Nave,
north-west vestry, north stair turret, north and south transepts,
crossing tower, rectangular chancel. Mid C12 nave with C12 and
C19 west front with plinth and flanking pilaster buttresses.
Steps lead up to partially restored central C12 doorway of 4
orders with inner rectangular jambs and 3 shafts on each side,
the central shafts with chevron decoration. Scalloped cushion
capitals with geometric decoration above and abaci. Round head
with 2 chevroned inner orders, a roll moulded order and chevroned
outer order. Plank doors. Early C15 pointed niche with cusping,
to north. 2 pointed C19 lights above set in C19 rubble filling
large C14 opening. C12 flat string course above and upper
oculus. North side of nave with plinth and flat string course
running over corner pilaster buttress. Round headed window to
east immediately above string course with pilaster buttress just
beyond. C20 lean-to vestry below string course to east, with 2
re-set windows to east, one with pointed, the other a round head,
and coal-hole door below. North side of vestry with double
glazed doors with 3 lights to east with pointed heads. Above
vestry, C12 round headed window with C12 stair turret to east,
removed in C19 from original position against the north-west jamb
of interior crossing arch. Turret with C19 string course, quoins
and pyramidal slate roof, and 4 Anglo Saxon round, and round
headed lights re-set on north and west sides. North transept
lower levels of c,1034-49, and upper levels of 1090. Stepped
plinth. West side of north transept with tall, pointed mid C13
window of 2 pointed lights with quatrefoil above and hood mould.
Slab quoins. North side with narrow window with massive through
stone jambs and rectangular head. C12 oculus above. Coped gable
with C19 cross finial with interlace decoration. East side with
tall, poointed mid C13 window of 2 pointed lights with quatrefoil
above and hood mould. In corner of chancel and transept projects
corner of C11 chancel bonded into transept wall, with slab
quoins. North side of later C12 chancel with clear masonry break
from Cll work. Stepped plinth runs round chancel. 4 pilaster
buttresses alternate with 2 tiers of 3 windows restored in C19.
3 lower windows withr'ouniicheor&nedhbads and nook shafts. 3
upper, smaller round headed windows. Corbelled eaves and parapet
above. East end of chancel with flanking pilaster buttresses.
Wall and windows in between reconstructed in C19 with central
pilaster running up to_just below gable. Single round headed
window on each side with chevroned heads, nook shafts and cushion
capitals. Single smaller round headed windows flank pilaster
above. Single oculi with cable decoration flank pilaster in
gable. South side of chancel with 4 pilaster buttresses
alternating with 2 tiers of 3 windows restored in C19. 3 lower
windows with round chevroned heads and nook shafts. 3 upper,
small round headed windows. Corbelled eaves and parapet above.
In corner of chancel and transept projects corner of C11 chancel
with slab quoins and bonded into transept wall and with clean
masonry break from C12 chancel. Lower levels of south transept
of c.1034-49, and upper levels of cl090. Stepped plinth with
square and chamfered profiles. Slab quoins on south-east and
south-west corners. East side with small round headed opening
with hood mould. Mid C13 window to south, of 2 lights with
quatrefoil and hood mould. South side with narrow round headed
light of cl090 with hood mould with Jews' harp decoration. Tall
early C13 window to west of 2 pointed lights with plate traceried
quatrefoil and hood mould. C12 oculus above. West side of south
transept with single small narrow C12 window with round head and
hood mould with small monster head label stops. South side of-
nave with 3 pilaster buttresses, that to east masking join with
C11 transept. Large mid C12 doorway partially restored in C19.
4 orders with inner rectangular jambs with moulded profile, and 3
shafts on each side, the 2 outer shafts on each side with chevron
decoration. Scalloped cushion capitals with geometric patterning
above, and scored abaci. Round head with 5 orders, the 2 inner
orders with chevroned decoration, third order roll moulded,
fourth order with complex chevron and outer order with double
billet. Plank doors. C11 stone coffin against wall to east.
String course runs above doorway with scallop decoration. 2
round headed windows above with pilaster buttress to west with
another round headed window beyond. String course continues and
runs over corner pilaster buttress. Early C15 crossing tower on
C11 foundations. Single narrow rectangular lights flank steep
pitched roofs rising against tower. C11 round light re-set in
this position on north side. String course with bell openings on
all 4 sides above. Each bell opening with pointed head with 3
pointed Lights and vertical tracery above. Moulded eaves above
with corner gargoyles and gargoyles in centre of each face.
Battlements above with ornate corner pinnacles and standing
figures of 4 Evangelists in centre of each face. Nave interior
with pointed north doorway, plank doors and C17 lintel. Small
pointed aumbry to east. Large crossing 35 foot square, masonry
up to impost level of c.1034-49; heads of crossing arches and
above of c.1090. Signs of fire damage on earlier masonry. 4
piers stand on massive plinths of one square and 4 chamfered
stages. Each jamb decorated with single pilaster strip and half
shafts with crude bases. Outer arches of crossing with round
moulded heads, the outer order of western arch with Jews' harp
decoration. Inner face of crossing with C12 pointed, moulded
arches supported on C12 massive polygonal piers on tall,
chamfered stepped plinths inserted into Cll corners of crossing.
North transept with narrow west doorway of c.1034-49, leading
into C20 vestry, with non-radial voussoirs, chamfered imposts and
long and short quoins running through thickness of wall. To
north of west window of north transept the remnant of Cll window
jamb with quoining exposed. East wall of north transept with
ornate niche heavily restored in C19, containing remnant of early
C13 wall painting of the murder of Thomas Becket, consisting of
bishop's robes. To east of outer north transept arch rectangular
opening inserted with steps leading to rood screen no longer
extant. 2 corbel heads of musicians in north transept, and 2
smaller plain corbels. Floor paved with various C18 gravestones.
South transept with 3 corbel heads, 2 wearing hats. Floor paved
with various C18 gravestones. Chancel of c1170 heavily restored
in C19. Quadrapartite rib vaults of 3 bays with chevroned ribs
and ball flower decoration rebuilt in C19. Vaults supported on
corbel heads to west and tripartite responds to east with
scalloped or beaded cushion capitals, decorated bases and abaci
running into string course on wall. Wall arcade runs round
north, east and south walls with plain shafts mostly replaced in
C19, round heads with rich chevron and ball flower decoration and
cushion capitals with various decorations. Windows above with
surrounds decorated with chevron and key pattern. East end
rebuilt in C19 with scalloped string course above wall arcade and
another above lower windows which continues over north and south
walls. Upper windows plain except for south east window with
nook shafts and roll moulded head. Nave with C17 tie beam roof
inscribed 1685. Monument on south wall of nave to Thomas
Holbeach, died 1591, of stone with coat of arms and scrolls. C17
polygonal pulpit with decorative panels restored in 1877. 6
pews with C14 bench ends with cusped tracery and flower heads.
C15 octagonal stone font, each side with single motif; a green
man; serpent; star of David and flower heads. Bowl supported
on cluster of shafts with foliate capitals and face and foliate
motif in north-east and south-east corners, and long tailed
dragon stretching between north-west and south-west corners. 2
C16 chests in nave. Ornate C16 chest in north transept and
fragment of base of small shaft. C14 lectern in south transept
with cusped tracery, flower heads and ornate finials. Highly
ornate C17 chair with arms and back decorated with daisy heads
and swirling leaves. C14 fragmentary tombstone with ornate cross
inscribed and other ornate fragments. Monument on north-east
pier of crossing of metal, to Richard Burgh, died c1616. 2
coffin lids in chancel floor, probably C13, both with faces and
hands clasped in prayer viewed through round openings. That on
south side with inscription: "Alle men that ben in lif, prai for
Emme was Fuk wif." Dating of earlier campaigns controversial.
One of major examples of Anglo Saxon architecture in the country.
Sources: E. Fernie. The Architecture of the Anglo-Saxons.
1983, pp.124-127; G. Atkinson. Associated Architectural
Societies, Reports and Papers, I, 1850-1, pp.319-25; H. M.
Taylor. Architectural Journal 131, 1974, pp.362-6; M. Spurrell.
St. Mary's, Stow in Lindsey. 1982. Quiney pp.40, 274-5.

Listing NGR: SK8819481998

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.