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Description: Church of St Nicholas
Date Listed: 14 June 1967
English Heritage Building ID: 288341
OS Grid Reference: SU9544547021
OS Grid Coordinates: 495445, 147021
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2144, -0.6349
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SU 94 NE COMPTON C.P. THE STREET
3/84 Church of St Nicholas
Church. C11 tower with .C12, Romanesque
alterations to chancel, enlargement of nave circa 1180 and further small
alterations in C14, C15 and C19. Restored by Henry Woodyer. Mortar
rendered Bargate rubblestone with ashlar dressings. Plain tiled roof
with wood shingled broach spire. Nave with pentice roof aisles, double
chancel to east and square tower to west, with porch to south.
Unbuttressed tower with lancet openings in each face of
bellchamber. Of blocked windows in chancel walls with simple hollow
mouldings, one to north and one to south. C13 lancet windows in aisles
alternating with foiled head, two-light aisle windows. Decorated window
to east end of south aisle, C19 triangular, tile hung, hipped roof,
dormers on south side of nave roof with one dormer in chancel to north
and penticed roof addition to north side. C12 south door in gabled
porch with round order and one order of chevron zig-zag moulding to surround.
North door - blocked and round headed.
Interior: Three bay round pier arcades to nave under scalloped and stylised
foliage capitals, curious clover leaf type capital to south pier, unchamfered
arches. Crown post roof. Soffits of nave arcade crimped as is chancel arch.
Nook shafts to chancel arch with an order of zig-zag above. Braced crown
post roof. Tower arch with abaci imposts, zig-zag and patterned mouldings
to chancel windows. Sanctuary: two storeys, vaulted below. Separate
chapel above open to chancel and separated from it by Romanesque guard
rail - one of the earliest pieces of church woodwork in the country.
Restoration indicates that the chambers were built inside the existing
chancel walls. Lower chamber: Quadripartite ribbed vault with thick ribs
and single chamfer, Keystone. Arch leading to lower chapel from the
chancel has two orders, a deeply cut inner roll moulding and an outer
moulding of saw-tooth ornament, similar to formalized beak-heads, supported
on small nook shafts. Outside is a label moulding composed of dog-tooth
ornament, an early example. The small room to the south of the upper
chamber contains a wooden staircase and a Norman window on the south wall
and is thought to have been originally a cell or oratory.
Fittings: Upper chancel chamber: altered and re-set piscina, moved in
C12 alterations. Guard rail - late C12 with simple round arched arcade
on elegant thin stems with crocketed capitals, badly worn. Altar rails,
tower screen (formerly across the chancel) and pulpit are all Jacobean,
circa 1620. Pulpit panelled with strapwork decoration and sounding board
above, all very ornate. Early Norman font: square bowl above a big
circular stem and ring. Chequerboard painting to chancel arch wall.
Stained glass: small trefoil roundel in east wall of lower chapel showing
Virgin and child, possibly C13. Also some fragments of C17 glass remaining.
Monuments: north aisle wall - C14 arched, cusped wall recesses, one
depressed. South porch, west wall: monument to Edward Fulham, Canon of
Windsor. Died 1694, monument erected 1778. Grey stone ground with
white stone apron and Coat of Arms and floral decoration. Garlanded
white stone urn above in Late Palladian style, by Van Gelder.
The church is unique in the South of England and the two storey arrangement
of the chancel is extremely rare.
PEVSNER: BUILDINGS OF ENGLAND, SURREY (1971) pp 166-168
VCH SURREY VOLUME 3
SCHEDULE OF SURREY ANTIQUITIES 1913 pp 19-21
Listing NGR: SU9544647022
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.