Description: Church of St Lawrence
Date Listed: 9 February 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 249538
OS Grid Reference: SP4563101073
OS Grid Coordinates: 445631, 201073
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7065, -1.3410
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BESSELSLEIGH FARINGDON ROAD
SP4501 (North side)
10/40 Church of St. Lawrence
Church. Early C12, with early C14 and C15 alterations. c.1632 for William
Lenthall, Speaker of House of Commons, and 1788 for William John Lenthall.
Uncoursed limestone rubble; gabled stone slate roof. Nave and chancel. Late C13
three-light trefoil-headed window. 4-bay south wall: three C15 cinquefoil-headed
2-light windows and 3 restored offset buttresses; narrow C13 pointed chamfered
priest's door in second bay from right; gabled early C17 porch has wide
cusp-chamfered arch, and C19 timber-framed side walls on brick and limestone
plinths; early C12 plain round-headed doorway frames ancient plank door which
has two C12 strap hinges and crescent at top. North wall has 3 restored offset
buttresses: similar C15 two-light window and an early C14 two-light Decorated
window flank rood-stairs projection with slit-light. West gable has late C13
three-light trefoil-headed window, and twin bellcote of 1632 (V.C.H.). Interior:
cinquefoiled rere-arch to east window. Late C19 reredos. Late C13 trefoil-headed
piscina: early C12 pillar piscina has decorated stem and scalloped capital:
early C17 parish chest has panelled door, hinged lid and is set on wooden
wheels. Chancel floor has marble floor tablet to John Lenthall (d.1681), and a
set of early C17 floor tiles with quatrefoils. C15 brattished cornice to
plastered chancel roof. Tympanum of 1632, with carved oak pendants, has painting
of angels holding Lenthall arms over inscription which reads: "THIS CHURCH WAS
RESTORED IN THE YEARE 1632/AND ALSO REPAIRED BY THE HONOURABLE WILLIAM LENTHALL
ESQR:/MASTER OF THE ROLLS IN THE YEARE 1657". Nave has unusual mid C17 font,
with small garlanded bowl "set on round stem with bands of rocky rustication"
(Pevsner). Mid/late C19 roof has C17 moulded cornice with angels holding shields
of arms at intervals. Fittings: late C18 communion rail, pulpit with tester, box
pews, and steps to gallery with hat-pegs and splat balusters at west end.
Memorials: C18 and C19 wall tablets. Chancel has small white marble inscription
set in black marble draped surround to Winnifred Thompson, d.1708/9, and
memorial to Susanna Brome, d.1717: heraldic achievement over draped and
garlanded surround to inscription with palm sprays at base.
(Buildings of England: Berkshire, p.86; V.C.H.: Berkshire, Vol.IV, pp.396-7;
National Monuments Record).
Listing NGR: SP4563101073
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.