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Abbey Church of St Gregory the Great, Downside Abbey, Stratton on the Fosse

Description: Abbey Church of St Gregory the Great, Downside Abbey

Grade: I
Date Listed: 25 June 1986
English Heritage Building ID: 267999

OS Grid Reference: ST6550950840
OS Grid Coordinates: 365509, 150840
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2557, -2.4956

Location: Abbey Road, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Somerset BA3 4RJ

Locality: Stratton on the Fosse
Local Authority: Mendip District Council
County: Somerset
Country: England
Postcode: BA3 4RJ

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Listing Text

In the entry for:

STRATTON-ON-THE-FOSSE FOSSE WAY
ST 65 SE (west side)

13/187
Abbey Church of St
Gregory The Great,
Downside Abbey and
School
GV
I
The address shall be amended to read:

ST 65 SE FOSSE WAY
5/187 (west side)

Abbey Church of St
Gregory The Great,
Downside Abbey

- I

and the description shall be amended to read

Abbey church and north cloister. Commenced 1873 and as yet unfinished (west front
and two bays of nave are missing). Main building periods 1872-82, c.1890, 1901-5,
1911-12, c.1923-25, 1938. Architects in date order, A M Dunn and E J Hansom,
Thomas Garner, F.A.Walters, Sir G.G.Scott. Interior fittings and furnishings by
the principal architects and Sir J N Comper. Bath stone ashlar with red plain
tile roofs, the east end chapels roofed very conspicuously in copper sheeting.

Abbey church consists of nave with blind aisles and gallery chapels to south over
north cloisters, by Sir G G Scott 1922-25 incorporating temporary west front, in
simplified early Perpendicular style. Transepts with chapels opened 1882 and base
of tower 1884, by A Dunn and E Hansom in early English style; tower finished 1938
by Scott in Somerset Perpendicular. Choir 1902-05 by Thomas Garner in early
Decorated style; east end, ambulatory and radiating chapels with large projecting
Lady Chapel opened 1888 by Dunn and Hansom in a French C13 style. Of the earliest
work by Dunn and Hansom the 2 bays transepts have a rose window to the north,
south transept with tower on south side; tower with much emphasised doorway and
with gabled canopy with figures; with Scott's addition it rises to about 166 ft,
corner buttresses, pinnacles, 3 tiers of 2-light bell-chamber windows. Eight bay
nave with triforium and clerestorey, pierced parapet, 2-light windows, rich
tracery, west end (unfinished) with triple lancets. Chancel of 7 bays, with tall
transomed clerestory windows, pierced parapets, flying buttresses, massive end
pinnacles, 3-light east window. Chapels at east end with much emphasis on
facetted roofs. Interior rib-vaulted in C13 French style; nave with tall
Perpendicular arcades; triforium in Decorated style; richly fitted and furnished
with much high quality work including altars, carvings, tombs, paintings and
stained glass; canopied tomb of Cardinal Gasquet (d.1929) by Sir G G Scott, effigy
by E Carter Preston. The Lady Chapel was decorated, glazed, paved and screened by
Comper.

'The most splendid demonstration of the renaissance of Roman Catholicism in
England' (Pevsner) it was built for a community of Benedictine monks, founded at
St Gregory's monastery at Douai in Flanders in 1607, house re-established in
England 1795, present estate purchased 1813.

References: Pevsner. Buildings of England, North Somerset and Bristol 1958 and
for full description of church: James, Dom Augustine. The Story of Downside Abbey
Church 1961. Fitzgerald-Lombard, Dom C.A guide to the Church of St Gregory the
Great Downside Abbey, 1981.

------------------------------------

STRATTON-ON-THE-FOSSE CP FOSSE WAY (West side)
ST65SE
13/187 Abbey Church of St. Gregory The
Great, Downside Abbey and School
-

GV I

Abbey Church, and north cloister. Work commenced 1872 and as yet unfinished, viz. west end of Abbey Church. For
community of Benedictine monks, founded at St Gregory's Monastery at Douai in northern France, 1601; house
re-established in England 1795, present estate purchased 1814. Bath and Doulting stones, lias; tile and copper sheeting
roofs. Abbey Church consists of nave with blind aisles and gallery chapels to south over north cloister, by Sir G G
Scott c1923-25 incorporating temporary west front, in simplified French Perpendicular style. Transepts with chapels and
base of tower c1882, by A Dunn and C Hansom in rich Early English style; tower finished 1938 by Scott in Somerset
Perpendicular. Chancel c1901-05 by Thomas Garner in Early Perpendicular style; east end, ambulatory and radiating
chapels with large projecting Lady Chapel c1890 by Dunn and Hansom in French Perpendicular style. Of the earliest work
by Dunn and Hansom the 2 bay transepts have a rose window to the north, south transept with tower on south side; tower
with much emphasised door opening, gabled canopy with figures; with Scott's addition it rises to about 160 m, corner
buttresses, pinnacles, 3 tiers of 2-light bell-chamber windows. Eight bay nave with triforium and clerestory, pierced
parapet, 2-light windows, rich tracery, west end with triple lancets. Chancel of 7 bays, with tall transomed clerestory
windows, pierced parapets, flying buttresses, massive end pinnacles, 3-light east window. Chapels at east end with much
emphasis on facetted roofs. Interior rib-vaulted in C13 French style; nave with tall Perpendicular arcades; triforium
in Decorated style; richly fitted and furnished with much high quality work including carvings, tombs, paintings and
stained glass; tomb and recess by Sir Ninian Compter. (Pevsner, Buildings of England, North Somerset and Bristol, 1958;
Fitzgerald-Lombard Dom C, A Guide to the Church of St Gregory the Great Downside Abbey, 1981).


Listing NGR: ST6550550832

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.