British Listed Buildings

History in Structure

If you log in, you can comment on buildings, submit new photos or update photos that you've already submitted.

We need to upgrade the server that this website runs on. Can you spare a quid to help?.

Church of St Mary, Chipping Norton

Description: Church of St Mary

Grade: I
Date Listed: 23 April 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 251585

OS Grid Reference: SP3117127350
OS Grid Coordinates: 431171, 227350
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9438, -1.5479

Location: 4 Church Street, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 5NS

Locality: Chipping Norton
Local Authority: West Oxfordshire District Council
County: Oxfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: OX7 5NS

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument, Chipping Norton Motte and Bailey Castle, and Fishpond, 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 Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

SP 3027-3127
3/1 Church of St Mary
C12 foundation of which only a few fragments survive in the W wall of the nave.
C13 and C14 rebuilding visible in the chancel and aisles, nave of c.1485, a W
tower of 1823 by John Hudson and the whole restored by E G Bruton in 1878. 4-bay
nave, 2-bay chancel, inner N aisle and outer N aisle (Over Norton Aisle) both of
6 bays, former Lady Chapel to NE with vestry attached, S aisle of 4 bays, W
tower, S porch, NW Dawkins family vault of 1800. Built of rubble stone to
chancel, squared and coursed rubble stone to the N aisles, ashlar to the remain-
der and dressed stone for parapets, openings and buttresses. Slate roofs through-
out. W tower dated 1823 on W face of 4 storeys with battering at the base,
diagonal buttresses with set-offs to the 3rd stage, moulded string courses, that
below the parapet with gargoyles from the original tower, and a moulded embattled
parapet with crocketted corner pinnacles. The W face has a plain moulded
surround under a pointed hood mould to the W door, a 2 cusped light window to the
2nd stage and a bell opening of cusped Y tracery under a pointed head with a hood
mould. These are repeated on the other facades. The S face at 3rd stage level
has a moulded blind roundel in a square surround with trefoiled mouchettes in the
spandrels, obviously intended for a clock. The detail here makes a conscious and
archaeological link with the Perpendicular work of the nave. The S aisle and
chancel S windows are either of 2 or 3 Decorated lights, some original, others
dating from the 1878 restoration. The E end window of the S aisle has a great
Decorated window of 6 lights with a wheel in the head, traditionally brought from
nearby Bruern Abbey, dissolved in 1535. The Perpendicular clerestory windows of
the nave comprise 5 main cusped lights with 10 smaller lights above under flat
heads. Although the chancel is C13, it has been refenestrated with Decorated and
Perpendicular windows. The E window is Late Decorated with flowing tracery and
there are further Decorated and Perpendicular windows to the chancel N and S
walls. The N aisle has plain 3 and 4 light panel tracery Perpendicular windows
to the N wall but its W end windows have more complex tracery and are later C17
examples of Gothic Survival. The S porch is a rare hexagonal structure of 2
storeys with a parvise above an octopartite vaulted entrance with bosses of grin-
ning devils and green men leading to the inner S door which has an order of large
ballflowers entwined in tendrils. Outside the porch has diagonal buttresses with
set-offs, a parapet with gargoyles and a crenellated hexagonal chimney with a
bellcote between the merlons. There is a sundial on the S face at parapet level.
The parvise is lit by windows of 2 cusped lights with a quatrefoil above under a
pointed head and the porch entrance has 2 cusped light openings under flat heads.
On the N wall of the Over Norton Aisle, built of pink ashlar, projects the
Dawkins family vault built by Henry Dawkins of Over Norton in 1800. It is
Gothick with pasteboard parapets, corner pinnacles and central gables on 3 sides
with crosses below. The family coat of arms, motto and date are recorded on the
N face. Inside the nave arcading gives the effect of panelled curtain walling.
The piers are clustered shafts on a lozenge plan with vestigial octagonal
capitals and thin moulded arches which support the covering of blind tracery in
the triforium and glazed panelled tracery in the clerestory. There are quatre-
foils and mouchettes in the spandrels and these with the traceried upper storeys
produce a feminine filagree effect. The piers have springing shafts which
support a contemporary open rafter roof with arched tie beams whose carved span-
drels echo those of the arcade. This decorative scheme is continued on the E
wall above the chancel arch but here the window is set behind a skin of open
cusping and quatrefoils. Flanking this are two crocketted niches and pedestals
bereft of statues. On the N pier of the chancel arch are the remains of the
Trinity Guild chantry: 3 crocketted niches and pedestals now transformed, with
the 1878 addition of a lower reading desk, into a pulpit. The N arcade between
the two N aisles is of 6 bays. The 5 from W to E have octagonal C14 piers with
pointed arches of 2 chamfered orders and heads carved in the spandrels. The 6th
pier is Early English with a stiff-leaf capital and from this projects on the E,
a four-centred arch with a reset Early English window above. The two piers on
the N side of the chancel are further survivors of the Early English period.
There are several mural tablets on the S and N walls of the outer N aisle and two
chest tombs in the SW angle of the aisle to Thomas Rickardes, died 1570, and his
wife: two effigies in alabaster on a Renaissance chest with stripped-down
strapwork and to the Rev E Redrobe, vicar 1683-1721, and his wife: a Purbeck
marble top on a chest with swags and corner ball finials. On the S wall is a
brass to Henry Cornish, died 1618, son of Henry Cornish who endowed the alms-
houses. In the former Lady Chapel, E of the inner N aisle is an alabaster chest
tomb to Richard Croft, died 1502 and his wife, died 1509: two complete effigies,
still Gothic in line and detail, on a crocketted niched chest with angels and
shields. Flanking the entrance to the Dawkins vault on the N wall of the outer N
aisle is a marble urn to James Dawkins, died 1766, by Nicholas Revett, co-author
of The Antiquities of Athens. Brasses, mostly C15, commemorating the wool
merchants of the town are displayed on the N wall of the outer N aisle. The
church has some good late C19 windows of stained glass, particularly the Bruern
Abbey window. The font is C14, octagonal with blind traceried panels on each
face. Outside the churchyard to the NE are earthworks marking the site of an
Early Norman motte and bailey castle. This is scheduled Ancient Monument
Oxfordshire No 40.

Listing NGR: SP3116827350

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.