Description: Church of St Mary
Date Listed: 23 May 1967
English Heritage Building ID: 232737
OS Grid Reference: SP9881288470
OS Grid Coordinates: 498812, 288470
Latitude/Longitude: 52.4852, -0.5463
There is also a scheduled monument, Benefield Castle, 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 Benefield, Northamptonshire at Explore Britain.
In the entry for:-
SP 98 88
13/16 Church of St.Mary
GV 23.5.67 II
The grade shall be amended to read:-
BENEFIELD LOWER BENEFIELD
13/16 Church of St. Mary
Church. Medieval origins, largely rebuilt c.1847 by John Macduff Derick for
Watts-Russell family of Biggin Hall (q.v.). Restored 1897 and 1901. Limestone
ashlar and squared coursed limestone with Colleyweston slate roof. Aisled nave,
chancel, north chapel, porch and west tower. Decorated style. South elevation of
chancel is a 3-window range of tall, 2-light, windows. 2-stage buttresses
between windows. Steep gabled roof with ashlar gable parapets and finial.
Five-light east window has reticulated tracery and may be re-used from earlier
building. Flanking 2-stage buttresses and niche above. North elevation of
chancel of one-window range similar to south elevation. North chapel abuts 2
bays of chancel. 2-window range of 2-light windows, all similar to the chancel.
Separate gabled roof and lower eaves level. 2-light east window. Rectangular
porch with lean-to stone roof in angle between chancel and north chapel. Doorway
has Caernarvon head set in lean-to projection across outer corner. South aisle
of 4 bays; 3-window range of 3-light windows with 4-centred arch heads. South
door, in bay to left of centre, has 2-centred arch head and chamfered and
moulded surround. All openings to this side have carved label stops. Flat
2-stage buttresses between windows have gablets to lower stage. Stone gutter
with flower head frieze. Steep gabled roof with gable parapets, kneelers and
finials. 3-light east and west windows with complex tracery. North aisle of 3
bays. 2-window range of 3-light windows under 4-centred arch heads. Steep gabled
roof has stone gutter with corbel table decorated with ball flowers. Ashlar
gable parapets, kneelers and finials. Gabled porch, in centre bay, has doorways
with 2-centred arch heads and floret decoration. 3-light west window. North
transept breaks forward to left. 3-light north window has geometrical tracery.
Small door in return wall. Octagonal stone flue at intersection of north aisle
and transept. All openings have carved label stops. Nave clerestory of 4-window
range of 3-light and curved triangle windows, not visible behind aisle roofs.
Steep gabled roof with stone gutter, ashlar gable parapets, kneelers and finial.
West tower of 2 stages with chamfered plinth and 4-stage angle buttresses to
lower stage. Lower stage is probably medieval. Small C19 west doorway, with
Caernarvon head has 2-light window above. 2 stairway slits to right. Quatrefoil
circle in north and south face. Upper stage is c.1847 with pair of 2-light
bell-chamber openings to each face. Moulded corbel table with gargoyles at
corners. Octagonal, ashlar, broach spire has 2 tiers of lucarnes. Interior:
4-bay nave arcade of double chamfered arches with circular and octagonal piers,
each with different capitals. Double chamfered chancel arch with continuous
responds. Polygonal respond of medieval chancel arch is visible to left side in
chancel. Triple-chamfered tower arch, with polygonal responds, is probably
medieval, restored 1847. Double chamfered arches to north chapel and north
transept. C19 roof structures. Nave has arched braced trusses with curved wind
bracing; chancel and north chapel are panelled, and have painted barrel vaults.
c.1847 chancel screen and rood loft with wooden spiral stair. The rood figures
above are c.1904 by Sir Ninian Comper. Painted wall decoration behind. Similar
north chapel screen and organ case in north chapel. North transept screen.
c.1926 has reset openwork centre panel of c.1700 and flanking turned balusters.
Similar reredos to altar in north transept. This chapel was designed c.1926 by
Hon. C. Yorke in memory of Captain Arthur Egerton Watts-Russell of Biggin Hall
(q.v.). Encaustic tiled floors. C19 stained glass to east windows and south
aisle windows, other windows have painted and coloured glass. 2 medieval
misericords said to have come from Church of St. Mary and All Saints,
Fotheringhay (q.v.). Altar reredos by Comper. C19 stone pulpit and C19 octagonal
font. Monuments: Elizabeth Grant died 1698 inscribed brass tablet, north wall of
chancel. Mark Lewis died 1620, marble slab in tower.
(Buildings of England: Northamptonshire, p.105; V.C.H.: Northamptonshire, Vol.3,
Listing NGR: SP9881288470
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.