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Description: Church of St Mary
Date Listed: 23 September 1950
English Heritage Building ID: 232352
OS Grid Reference: SP9614068527
OS Grid Coordinates: 496140, 268527
Latitude/Longitude: 52.3065, -0.5913
Explore more of the area around Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire at Explore Britain.
HIGHAM FERRERS MARKET SQUARE
SP9668NW (East side)
18/52 Church of St. Mary
23/09/50 (Formerly listed as Parish
Church of St. Mary)
Church. C13 to mid C14, restored C17 and C19. Squared coursed limestone, part
banded with ironstone, and limestone ashlar with lead roofs. Aisled double nave,
chancel, Lady Chapel, south porch and west tower. South elevation of chancel of
3-window range of 3-light ogee-head windows with reticulated tracery.
Trefoil-head south door to right of centre. 3-stage buttress between windows,
one has circular stone dial. Shallow gabled roof with castellated ashlar
parapets, corner pinnacle and 2 gargoyles. East elevation has twin gables of
chancel and lady chapel. Two 5-light ogee-head windows with reticulated tracery
and niches above. Chancel window has cluster shafts. 3-stage buttresses between
window. Castellated ashlar parapet with pinnacles. North elevation of Lady
chapel of 2-window range with 5-light window with intersecting tracery and
cusping to left and 3-light ogee-head window with reticulated tracery to right,
both have carved label stops. Shallow gabled roof with castellated ashlar
parapet, corner pinnacle and 3 gargoyles. South aisle of 5 bays, 4-window range
with one 4-light window with reticulated tracery and roundel to right and three
3-light ogee-head windows with reticulated tracery. 2-stage buttresses between
windows. Lean-to roof with castellated ashlar parapet, corner pinnacles and 2
gargoyles. Gabled porch in bay to left of centre is now a vestry. 3-light east
window with panel tracery and 2-light west window with Y-tracery. Double
chamfered outer arch with circular responds. 2-light windows in return walls and
castellated ashlar parapet. North aisle of 4 bays; 3-window range of 3-light
square-head windows. Chamfered and moulded north doorway to right of centre.
Lean-to roof with plain ashlar parapets. 3-light east window with mouchettes and
3-light west window with 4-centred head and panel tracery. 5-light west window
to nave with intersecting tracery with cusping. Small C19 boiler house attached
to east end of north aisle. South nave clerestory of 5-window range and north
nave clerestory of 4-window range, both with 2-light square-head windows, some
restored C19. 2 shallow gabled roofs with castellated ashlar parapets. Fine mid
C13 west tower of 3 stages with subdivision in the upper stage. Set-back 6-stage
angle buttresses to south-west corner and similar plain buttress to south-east
corner. Similar 2-stage gabled buttresses to lower stage of north-west corner.
North-east corner has C19 polygonal stair turret. West door has roll-moulded
outer arch with cluster shafts. Pair of inner doors with segmental heads have
bands of carved figures around jambs and heads. Tympanum, above, has central C20
figure of Virgin Mary surrounded by 6 and 4 half roundels depicting Biblical
scenes. Return walls between inner and outer doorways have double blank arches
with trefoil heads and shafts. Rib vault above with squared decoration in
panels. 2 trefoil-head shallow niches to left of doorway. 2-light window above
with carving of Our Lord in apex and shafts. Flanking pinnacles. North face of
lower stage-has 2-light window with carving of musician in apex. Single blank
arcade to left and double to right; both with trefoil heads and shafts. Second
stage has roundel with clock face surrounded by quatrefoils. 2-light north
window. Tall: 2-light bell-chamber openings to each face of upper stage have
transoms and shafts. Fragments of carving to left and right of west opening.
Corbel table, open quatrefoil parapet and ribbed corner pinnacles with crockets.
Octagonal ashlar spire rises from behind parapet and is linked to pinnacles by
flying buttresses pierced with open quatrefoils. 3 tiers of lucarnes with
2-light openings, lowest tier has transoms. Inscribed tablets in south and west
faces of tower. Interior: 4-bay nave arcades. South aisle arcade of double
chamfered and hollowed arches with quatrefoil piers. Arcade between the two
naves and between the nave and north aisle are of double chamfered arches with
octagonal piers. No chancel arch. Triple chamfered tower arch with shafts.
Double chamfered arch between chancel and Lady chapel has fine moulded arch with
cluster shafts and pinnacles to right. Small doorway with 4-centred head
between. C19 roof structures, parts painted C20. Line of earlier roof is visible
above tower arch. Screens: remains of Perpendicular screens, all restored C19
and C20, to chancel Lady chapel, between chancel and Lady chapel and to chapels
at ends of aisles. Rood loft early C20 by Sir Ninian Comper. 20 C14/C15 stalls
in chancel all with misericords. Niches to left and right of chancel altar.
Trefoil-head piscinas to right of Lady chapel and south aisle altars. Mid C14
floor tiles to steps in chancel. C19 and C20 stained glass windows to chancel
east and 2 south windows, Lady chapel east window and 2 south aisle windows.
South chancel windows are by Kempe and Tower. C13 octagonal font with cross and
fleur-de-lys decoration. Monuments: chest tomb in arch between chancel and Lady
chapel has 4-panelled sides with shields. Fine reset brass on chest is to
Lawrence St. Maur died 1337; ogee-head surround with figures and pinnacles.
Other brasses include Archbishop Chichele's brother, died 1425, and wife:
figures with twin ogee head surround, to right of Lady chapel; Archbishop
Chichele's father, died 140i), and another foliated cross to centre of Lady
chapel; and William Thorpe, died 1504, wife and children alongside. 3 brasses
without inscriptions in Lady chapel, 2 civilians c.1540 and Edith Chancellor
c.1435 is headless. Richard alleys, Warden of College, c.1500, and Civilian
c.150t to left and right of chancel altar. Henry Denton, died 1498, in south
aisle east bay and Thomas Rudd, died 1656, north aisle east bay. 2 brass
matrices in nave. Ieabell Foster, died 1796: marble tablet with urn to right of
chancel altar; 2 C19 tablets alongside. The design of the tower and spire were
probably changed during the construction, evidenced by the architectural
irregularities of the tower. The spire was partially reconstructed after a
collapse in 1631. The stalls in the chapel were most probably used by Chichele
(Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, p.254).
Listing NGR: SP9614068527
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.