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Minster Church of St Mary the Virgin with Attached Chapter House, Southwell

Description: Minster Church of St Mary the Virgin with Attached Chapter House

Grade: I
Date Listed: 11 August 1961
English Heritage Building ID: 242334

OS Grid Reference: SK7017153802
OS Grid Coordinates: 470171, 353802
Latitude/Longitude: 53.0768, -0.9540

Location: 23 Church Street, Southwell, Nottinghamshire NG25 0HQ

Locality: Southwell
Local Authority: Newark and Sherwood District Council
County: Nottinghamshire
Country: England
Postcode: NG25 0HQ

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Listing Text


1919-0/11/43 (South West side)
11/08/61 Minster church of St Mary the Virgin
with attached chapter house.


Minster church and attached chapter house. Nave, aisles and
west towers c1120-1250, on the site of an Anglo-Saxon church.
Choir, aisles and east transept chapels c1233-1260. Chapter
house 1290-1300. Choir screen c1337, and choir flying
buttresses and transept chapel windows mid C14. Nave aisle
east windows late C14. Nave west window and Choir gable window
inserted and roofs renewed, C15. South west tower, nave and
crossing tower reroofed following a fire, 1711-1714. Western
spires removed by Richard Ingleman, 1801. Chapter house
reroofed by William Wilkins Snr., 1803. West towers repaired
1816. West tower spires and chapter house roof reinstated, and
nave and transept roofs renewed 1880 by Ewan Christian. Ashlar
with lead roofs. Romanesque, Early English and Decorated
styles. Aisled nave with clerestorey and west towers, north
porch, transepts, crossing tower, aisled choir with transeptal
chapels, pilgrim chapel, cloister and vestibule, chapter
house. Nave west end has 2 square towers, 6 stages, topped
with square spires, with flat angle buttresses, sill band with
nailhead, string courses and corbel tables. Fourth and sixth
stages have Romanesque blind arcading, and fifth stages have
blind arcading with pointed arches. Lowest stages have C19
Romanesque windows. Between the towers, an enriched Romanesque
doorway, 4 orders, and above it a 7-light Perpendicular lancet
with panel tracery. Above again, a crenellated parapet. 7-bay
nave and aisles have zigzag sill band, moulded string course
and wavy corbel tables, restored C19. Each aisle has shallow
buttresses and to east, 4 triple lancets with hood moulds. To
west, north aisle has 2 Romanesque windows, and south aisle,
3. Above each window, a small rectangular light. Clerestorey
has 7 round windows each side. Outstandingly important north
porch has plinth, enriched sill band, corbel table and coped
gable with beast finial. Roll-moulded doorway, 2 orders, with
hood mould. Above it, 3 graduated round headed windows with
zigzag surrounds and cabled hood moulds, lighting a sacrist's
room. On each side of the gable, a pinnacle with a conical
cap, that to the west being a chimney. Interior has elaborate
interlaced arcading and stone benches, and rendered barrel
vault. Heavily enriched inner doorway, 5 orders, with a pair
of C14 doors with reticulated blind tracery. Transepts have
plinths, flat buttresses, enriched sill band, string course,
and wavy corbel table on east and west sides. North and south
gables have 2 Romanesque windows on each stage, with shafts
and impost bands. Upper windows cabled heads. Above again, 2
round windows. Both gables have relief decoration. South
transept has, to west, an enriched segment headed Romanesque
doorway with double shafts. West sides have fenestration
similar to the gables, with the round windows offset towards
the aisles. South transept has an additional round headed
doorway to south. South transept has also 2 round windows on
the east side. Unbuttressed square crossing tower, 3 stages,
has string courses and corbel table and coped parapet with
traceried round corner pinnacles. Intermediate pinnacles with
ball finials. Second stage has Romanesque interlaced arcading
with 2 small lancets each side. Third stage has blind arcading
with square shafts and 3 bell openings each side. Choir, 7
bays, and aisles, 7 smaller bays, have moulded plinth, sill
bands, parapets and chamfered gabled buttresses, the angle
buttresses at the east end topped with crocketed gabled
pinnacles. Choir central bays have 2 flying buttreses, those
to south with pinnacles. Choir has corbel table. East end has
2 tiers of 4 lancets with shafts and hood moulds, the upper
tier larger and flanked by single blank windows. Above, in the
gable, 2 pairs of small lancets in a depressed round headed
opening. Choir has, to east, 2 lancets on each stage, those
above being larger. All have shafts and hood moulds.
Clerestorey has on each side 5 pairs of smaller lancets. Each
aisle has, to east, a single side window and at the east end a
double lancet with a single smaller lancet above. South aisle
has also 2 pairs of lancets flanked by single ones, that to
east being smaller. All these windows have shafts and linked
hood moulds. Parapeted transeptal chapels have each 2 lancets
on their east sides and in their gables. South chapel has also
a single lancet to west and in the return angle, a
semicircular stair turret. Pilgrims' chapel, to east of north
transept, has plinth and string courses and coped gable with
lozenge band. North gable has a Decorated triple lancet and
above it, C14 blind arcading with a single window. Above
again, a C15 triple lancet with segmental pointed head. All
these windows have shafts and hood moulds. Single bay chapter
house vestibule has an early English triple lancet with
trefoils and hood mould. Octagonal chapter house has plinth,
sill band, impost band, traceried corbel table with masks, and
pierced balustrade with quatrefoils. Gabled angle buttresses
surmounted by square shafts with hollowed sides, topped with
crocketed pinnacles. 6 triple lancets with trefoils and
quatrefoils, all with shafts and hood moulds. Octagonal spire
roof. Nave interior has wagon roof and enriched string
courses. Round piers with incised bands to capitals, and
simply moulded arches with billet moulded faces. The western
arches have sections of wall in place of the piers. Triforium
has similar billet moulded arches with triple shafts and
scallop capitals. Clerestorey has plain arches with similar
single shafts and capitals. West end has an enriched central
doorway. Aisles have roll-moulded rib vaults and round headed
openings into the transepts. Crossing has cable moulded arches
on each side, with hood moulds. Triple shafts to north and
south, plain half-round shafts to the north and south
transepts. Above each arch, round headed openings with shafts.
Wagon roofed transepts have enriched and plain string courses.
Gable ends have double round arched windows with central
shaft. South west window has a doorway below it. Above, 2
windows with cable moulding and above them, 2 round windows.
West sides have 2 roll-moulded windows and arches to aisles.
Above, 2 cable-moulded windows and arches to nave galleries,
and above again, 3 plain windows. East sides have plain arches
to choir aisles and beyond, a larger arch, that to north
c1260, with a double opening, clustered shaft and C20 screen.
That to south, C19. Above, on either side, a three bayarcade
and a plain arched opening, and above again, 3 plain windows
with shafts. Choir and aisles have quadripartite vaults with
ridge ribs, and arcades with clustered filleted shafts and
heavily moulded arches with hood moulds. Combined triforium
and clerestorey has sill band and paired openings with
clustered shafts and hood moulds. Between them, clustered wall
shafts. East end has 2 tiers each of 4 lancets with multiple
shafts and hood moulds. South east side has an unusual 5-seat
sedilia with crocketed ogee canopies and figures.
North transeptal chapel (chapel of St Thomas) has sill band
and moulded rib vault with wall shafts. North side has an
aumbry and east side a roll moulded double piscina. North
choir aisle chapel (Airmens'Chapel) has similar design and
fittings. South transeptal chapel (Chapel of the Saints) has
similar vault and clustered shafts with stiff leaf capitals.
East side has a gabled aumbry and south gable a double piscina
with hood mould. To its right, a tomb recess. West side has a
triple sedilia with filleted shafts. South choir aisle chapel
(chapel of St Oswald) has similar vault and to south a
restored piscina and aumbry. To their right, a triple sedelia
with clustered shafts. Rib vaulted Pilgrims'chapel, to east of
north transept, has clustered wall shafts and moulded sill
band. North and south sides have gabled aumbries and south and
east sides have piscinas. Choir screen has to west 3 arches
with cusped heads and gables with foliate decoration,
separated by shafts in the form of buttresses. More elaborate
east side, restored early C19, has a central cusped ogee
opening flanked on either side by a triple sedilia, all with
elaborate ogee heads. Above, ornate gabled traceried panels
with 2 openings either side, and a pierced crest. Single blank
panels at either end. Interior has traceried panelled walls
and panelled flat ceiling with flying ribs. Cloister leading
to chapter house has a double doorway with clustered central
shaft and pierced tympanum. Naturalistic foliage capitals and
band. On either side of the cloister, blind arcading with
foliage capitals and hood moulds. 6 of the eastern openings
have glazed heads, and above them, mullioned lights, late C19.
Chapter house vestibule has moulded rib vault and blind
arcades to north and west with triple lancets above them. On
the east side a very ornate archway with triple marble shafts
, leading to the chapter house. Clustered central shaft
forming 2 cusped doorways, with a quatrefoil above.
Naturalistic foliage capitals and inner and outer bands of
similar foliage. Chapter house has an ornamented rib vault
without a central pier, and clustered wall shafts with foliage
capitals. Around the walls, 36 stalls with cusped heads and
elaborate crocketed gables. The tympana are filled with
foliage and figure carving. The naturalistic carving in
cloister, vestibule and chapter house is of outstanding
interest and importance. Memorials include a mutilated
alabaster figure of an Archbishop, c1450, and an alabaster
tomb chest with weepers and shields, topped with a lifelike
effigy to Archbishop Edwyn Sandys, 1588. Life-size kneeling
bronze figure on panelled and moulded alabaster chest, to
George Ridding, first Bishop, 1904, designed by W D Caroe and
executed by Pomeroy, 1907. Bronze demi-figure on pedestal,
1925, to Bishop Hoskyns, by W Reynolds Stephen. 2 wall
tablets, 1750 and 1764. C20 oak war memorial in triptych form.
Fittings include reset Anglo-Saxon tympanum, choir stalls with
misericords, 2 benches with poppyheads in south transept,
panelled octagonal font with matching cover, 1661, C16 brass
eagle lectern from Newstead, c1510. 2 C19 wooden pulpits.
(Norman Summers: A Prospect of Southwell: London: 1974-:
30-47; Buildings of England: E Williamson: Nottinghamshire:
London: 1979-: 319-328; N Pevsner: The leaves of Southwell:
London: 1945-: PASSIM; N Summers: Southwell Minster guidebook:
Southwell: 1986-: PASSIM; N Summers: The Chapter House,
Southwell Minster, guidebook.: Southwell: 1984-: PASSIM).

Listing NGR: SK7017153802

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.