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Church of St Mary, Yaxley

Description: Church of St Mary

Grade: I
Date Listed: 29 July 1955
English Heritage Building ID: 279599

OS Grid Reference: TM1209773897
OS Grid Coordinates: 612097, 273897
Latitude/Longitude: 52.3222, 1.1108

Location: Church Lane, Yaxley, Suffolk IP23 8BU

Locality: Yaxley
Local Authority: Mid Suffolk District Council
County: Suffolk
Country: England
Postcode: IP23 8BU

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Listing Text

TM 17 SW
3/143 Church of St. Mary


Parish church. Early C14, largely rebuilt in C15. Restored with chancel
rebuilt and south porch added in 1868 by E.L. Blackburne. Flint rubble; some
knapped, squared flushwork in north porch. Part cement rendered, stone
dressings. Tiled roofs with fishscale patterning on chancel, leaded south
aisle roof. Short nave and south aisle, west tower, north and south porches,
narrower and shorter chancel. Square 3 stage C14 west tower without an
entrance. Between lower stages to west a niche with a cusped ogee head,
flanking traceried shafts. To north and south lower stages have cusped slit
openings with ogee heads on lowest stage. At west angles are 3 stage diagonal
buttresses with flint and stone chequerwork, cusped tracery. Belfry has 4
pointed arched 2-light Y traceried louvred openings, stone quoining, cornice
to embattled parapet. Towards west end of nave is large and richly ornamented
north porch of c.1480 given by Yaxley family, 2 storeys as tall as nave eaves.
Pointed outer arch has a triple order of shafted jambs with brattished caps,
outer shafts support spandrels which have reliefs of St. Blaise with a monster
and Hercules with the Nemean lion, small dogs are carved on moulding around
spandrels. Flanking entrance arch is a double plinth, flushwork with lower
traceried panels, above initials IC with coronets, above these are blank
shields of arms in octafoils and 2 niches with traceried vaulted canopies,
elaborately crocketed and pinnacled, semi-hexagonal statue pedastals. Above
entrance arch is a frieze of panels with initials M and coronets. Upper
storey has two 2-light Perpendicular windows, intermediate ornamental shafts
with 2 small canopied niches, outer larger elaborately canopied niches.
Parapet has blank shields of arms with cusped scrolled tracery, sawtooth
brattishing, octagonal pinnacles with a central winged lion, outer seated
figures. 2 stage diagonal buttresses with flushwork, canopied niches as to
front, brattished offsets. Returns have 2-light Perpendicular windows,
hoodmoulds with mask and lion stops, octagonal pinnacles with gargoyles.
Visible on west return are quoins of earlier nave with kneeler to lower roof.
Inside porch a groin vault with moulded ribs and tiercerons, bosses with
Christ and Virgin to centre, Evangelist symbols and angels, angle colonnettes
with crocketed pinnacled capitals. Original benches on sides, pillar stoup,
C19 stained glass. Inner pointed entrance arch, a triple order with inner
shafted jambs with brattished caps; early double doors, 6 panels vertically
moulded with crocketed pinnacles to centre, at base a quatrefoil frieze. Nave
to north has 2 large 3-light Perpendicular windows, an intermediate buttress
and towards east a 2 stage diagonal buttress. Nave to east has a coped
parapet. Nave to south has a 6 window clerestorey, 2 lights each, cusped Y
tracery in segmental pointed arches. South aisle has two 2-light
Perpendicular windows to centre and towards east, cusped ogee headed lights, a
2 stage buttress with scratch dial, diagonal buttresses at ends, east return
2-light Perpendicular window, hoodmould with mask stops. West bay has C19
south porch/vestry with an outer pointed arch, semi-octagonal jambs, short
diagonal buttresses to returns with 2-light windows in square headed
surrounds, coped gable parapet with ridge cross. Chancel: C15 east wall has a
3-light Perpendicular window with cusped ogee headed lights, segmental pointed
arch, flanking 2 stage buttresses, shaped kneelers to coped gable parapet with
ridge cross, 2 stage buttresses to returns with 2 different 2-light C19
windows to each side, eaves cornice , to south a central low pointed entrance
arch from above which springs a C19 flying buttress. Interior: low pointed
double chamfered tower arch, above is line of earlier roof. Taller pointed
double chamfered chancel arch, C19 foliate capitals, above chancel arch is a
C15 3-light window opening into chancel raised in 1868. C15 3 bay arcade to
south aisle, octagonal piers with moulded bases and capitals, double chamfered
pointed arches Good 6 bay arched braced collar roof in nave with short king
posts, arched braces from king posts to ridge piece, moulded principals,
purlins and arched braces, brattished collars, square foliate bosses, some
early colouring on purlins over east bay and on wallplates which are thrice
brattished with wings of removed angels and coronets over ashlar pieces,
angels removed below posts. South aisle lean-to roof has 3 arched braced
rafters, moulded purlin and principals, diamond bosses, brattished cornices,
angel head corbels. C19 chancel roof, 4 bays, arched braces on stone angel
corbels. Nave and aisle windows have shafted rear arches with roll moulded
bases, capitals survive only in south aisle to east. Four centred arched
inner hoodmould over early entrance into C19 south porch/vestry, an early
plank door with ornamental iron work and strap hinges, outer pointed arch is
double moulded with a mask stopped hoodmould. To north of tower arch a door
for stairs to porch upper chamber. To north of chancel arch are lower cavetto
moulded and upper openings to rood stairs, ends of moulded rood beam remain in
walls. In chancel towards east on south wall a restored piscina with a cusped
ogee head with panel traceried spandrels to square hoodmould. C15 chancel
screen of 5 bays, outer dados divided into 4 panels each with painted figures
of Saints, defaced to north, SS Magdalene, Barbara, Dorothy and Cecilia to
south, gilded patterned backgrounds, ogee heads to panels with carved
spandrels, carved frieze to open upper sections with tracery lost except to
central opening which retains cusping, subcusping and crocketing, ornamental
cresting to head of screen. Tower arch has a Gothic glazed screen reusing a
C17 panel with fragments of C14 and C15 glass all assembled in 1886. Good
hexagonal pulpit to north east of nave, 1635 restored 1933, arched panels with
strapwork, jewels and gadrooning, shaped brackets to reading board, canted
blackboard with text inscribed in arched panels, griffin bracket to tester with
initials TF and TD, vine scroll and guilloche, outer arabesques with acorn
drops, raised cresting above with date on shield. Part of similarly carved
contemporary clerk's reading desk is incorporated into a low desk to north of
pulpit. Plain C15 font, octagonal, simply moulded base, 8 round shafts around
stem, deep bowl. In front of tower screen a small iron strap bound chest. In
south aisle a small C18 organ. Over vestry door late C16 carved seraphs.
Wall painting over chancel arch has remnants of large Doom. In chancel to
north a large late C19 organ with painted pipes by Bevington and Sons, Minton
encaustic tiles on chancel floor, C19 poppyheaded bench ends. In south aisle
a C17 Communion table with turned legs. Over south door an iron Sexton's
wheel probably used for determining Fast days. Chancel north wall a C14
effigy of a clerical figure in a restored recess, quatrefoil frieze below.
Chancel floor slab to P. Yaxley, d.1706, with boldly carved arms, a brass
inscription to R Yaxley, d.1474. South aisle wall: fragments of Renaissance
timber monument to W. Yaxley, d.1588, reconstructed inscription, arms on
scrolled surrounds, in vestry a cupboard incorporating half Ionic columns and
dentilled cornice from this monument. South aisle floor brass figure of A.
Felgate, d.1598, C17 slabs. South aisle west wall hatchments to Rev. S.
Leeke, d.1786, Yaxley hatchments over north door. East window reconstructed
1887 using C13, C14 and C15 glass fragments, nave window heads have some C15
fragments, in south aisle a panel with a figure of St. Katherine. Late C19
figure in nave to north. (Suffolk Archaeology. vol.XXI, 1933, pp.91-7. W.
Cornelious, The Church of St. Mary, Yaxley: a History and Guide, 1968).

Listing NGR: TM1209773897

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.