Description: Church of St Mary the Virgin
Date Listed: 7 December 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 243391
OS Grid Reference: SP6030019409
OS Grid Coordinates: 460300, 219409
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8700, -1.1256
There is also a scheduled monument, Ambrosden Churchyard Cross, 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 Ambrosden, Oxfordshire at Explore Britain.
SP61NW AMBROSDEN MERTON ROAD
11/6 Church of St. Mary the Virgin
07/12/66 (Formerly listed as Church of
St. Mary Virgin)
Church. Late C12, C14 and C15; chancel probably for Ashridge colleges; restored
1847 and in 1867 by C.N. Beazley. Limestone rubble with ashlar dressings; copper
roofs. Chancel, south sacristy, nave, south aisle, south porch and west tower.
3-bay C15 chancel with plinth parapet, and stepped buttresses, has 2-light
arched side windows, all with similar Perpendicular tracery; and a 3-light
traceried east window; to south is a priest's door and a contemporary sacristy
with a similar moulded parapet. C14 south aisle has 4 buttresses containing
image niches, 2 of which may be earlier work; three 2-light side windows and the
east window have C15 tracery, probably inserted into C14 windows; C14 lancet
near the porch retains its original tracery but has been mutilated. Large porch
has a 2-light traceried C15 window to east but retains a C14 trefoil window to
west and a C14 entrance. Porch and aisle have a restored C14 pierced parapet of
trefoils, that on the aisle rising from a corbel table of grotesque faces. C14
south doorway has continuous mouldings, and over it is a cinquefoiled image
niche surrounded by ballflower ornament. North side of nave, probably mostly
rebuilt C15, has 3 tall traceried 2-light windows and C15 stepped buttresses,
but retains traces of an earlier archway at the east end and has a C12 doorway
with a large roll moulding rising from detached shafts with cushion capitals.
Projecting rood stair forms a turret. Massive 3-stage tower has large lancets to
west and south (the latter above a Tudor-arched doorway), a small lancet in the
middle stage, and has 2-light bell-chamber openings with central shafts and
semi-circular outer arches; north-west angle has shallow ashlar buttresses;
south-west angle has large C15 buttresses; crenellated parapet. The stonework is
of exceptionally-small rubble, and the upper stage has pargetted decoration: on
the east, a lion and a restored dragon dated 1587, and on the west a patterned
fragment. Interior: chancel has dropped cills to all side windows, some forming
sedilia, and has a moulded column piscina; re-used shafts flanking altar have
C13 stiff-leaf capitals; panelled roof with moulded purlins and cambered
tiebeams is probably original. Plain C15 chancel arch and similar tower arch.
4-bay C14 south arcade has octagonal pier (one renewed) with moulded bases and
capitals; large squint to east. Nave roof is C19 but aisle roof may contain some
old timbers. Organ blocks an arched doorway to the rood stair. Interior of tower
has very wide splays to the lancets on south and west. Fittings include: C15
octagonal pedestal font, panelled with quatrefoils, with a panelled conical
counterweighted cover of 1687; C17 bench pews; parish chest dated 1785.
Monuments include an early C18 marble wall tablet to William Allen, with
Corinthian pilasters and a triangular pediment, several C18 and C19 wall tablets
below the tower and a group of C17 and C18 ledgers in the sanctuary. Stained
glass in east window c.1900.
(V.C.H.: Oxfordshire, Vol.V, pp. 26-8; Buildings of England: 0xfordshire, p.422).
Listing NGR: SP6030019409
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.