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Church of St Mary, Guildford

Description: Church of St Mary

Grade: I
Date Listed: 1 May 1953
English Heritage Building ID: 289077

OS Grid Reference: SU9961449344
OS Grid Coordinates: 499614, 149344
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2346, -0.5746

Location: Quarry Street, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3XQ

Locality: Guildford
Local Authority: Guildford Borough Council
County: Surrey
Country: England
Postcode: GU1 3XQ

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Listing Text

SU 99 49SE
(West Side)
Church of St. Mary


Church. Pre-conquest tower, circa 1040, with Norman transepts, circa 1100, length-
ened into apsidal chapels in circa 1180. Nave arcades circa 1170-1180, with aisles
widened in C13 and re-roofed in C15. Majority of windows inserted in C14, chancel
apse removed in 1825 and church restored by T. Goodchild in 1882. Flint and chalk
rubble with clunch dressings, the clunch replaced by Bargate stone on the tower
parapet. Plain tiled roofs. Cruciform plan with central crossing tower, truncated
chancel with apsidal chapels on north and south to east, aisled nave to west with
porch to north. Triple gabled west end flanked by angle buttresses and with apex
crucifix on centre gable. C19 trefoil windows in outer gables; foiled 3-light and
roundel window in north gable over lower square window below. Decorated style
four-light and mouchette window in south gable of west end, with chalk-dressed niche
below. Double doors to centre in deep surround and under hood moulding.
South Side:- Lancet windows in aisle alternate with offset buttresses; 3-light C19
window to west and two 3-light windows on south chancel chapel with buttress between;
stair-vice to end of south aisle. East End:- Apsidal chancel chapels flank central
gabled chancel with diamond panel and roundel over large 5 cinquefoil-light east
window. North Side:- Decorated style chancel chapel window of three lights breaking
through string course with oval tracery in upper lights; triple ogee-head window in
chamfered surround adjoining. Lancet fenestration in chamfered surround to north
aisle with end buttresses flanking. C19 timber framed and flint porch with scalloped
bargeboards to gable and ogee-tracery leaded glazing on sides to west end of north
side. North door C13, with three orders of Sussex marble shafts on double roll
bases and under moulded bell caps. Arch moulded in rolls and hollows, one with
triple fillet the other with keeled moulding. Tower:- Three-stage tower with thin
pilaster strip buttresses on lower stages. Battlemented parapet and some tile-on-
edge quoining above. Scrolled gilt wrought-iron finial above with crowning weather-
vane. Clock faces on north and south sides; lancet window to east and two trefoil-
head lights to north.
Interior:- Four-bay nave arcades on round piers with half-pier responds and pointed
arches of square section with hollow chamfer on north arcade, keeled roll-moulding
to south. Capitals on north arcade, with exception of middle one, are square with
scalloped decoration encircled with spirals, nail head, dogtooth and hollow chamfers
and grooved abaci. thick wooden wall plate on corbels above the arcade with collared-
rafter roof over nave. Roofs over aisles have chamfered and braced 4-centre arched
tie-beams on corbelled wall plate,with mouchette style piercing in spandrels and
floral decoration on corbels. Crossing displays earliest work in Church, approached
up 5 steps from the nave. Massive attached semi-circular responds attached to west
piers of crossing, under scalloped capitals, with western arch decorated with roll
moulding between. Smaller arches to north and south sides, early Norman with
impost courses, double-splayed Saxon windows and pilaster strips above. Flat
roof over crossing itself. Further three steps up to chancel, with flanking chapels,
to east. Chancel:- Vault of two bays, circa 1220, that to east 2 feet narrower on
transverse arch of one order rising from attached wall shafts comprising 3 smaller
shafts, the central one keeled in section, with plain bell caps. Main rib on east
wall rests on pairs of shafts on pointed corbel; diagonal ribs to quadripartite
vault have hollow chamfer between roll mouldings, the hollow chamfer of the western
bay decorated with a dog tooth band.
Central floral bosses to vaults. Blocked lancet windows in deep reveals on the
east side of the main transverse arch, two round-headed windows in deep reveals
on north and south sides of east bays now looking through to flanking chapels.
Two bay braced collared-rafter roof over north and south chapels with thick
vaulting ribs running against the entrance arches and some scissor bracing in
the chapel of St. John. North Chancel Chapel:- Entrance arch with flattened
responds, caps scalloped and abaci grooved and chamfered. Three windows, the
middle one of 3-lights, the northern one C14 and of 2 lights. Early C14 north
window, next to the apse, of 3 ogee lights, cinquefoil and with quatrefoils over
in square head. South Chancel Chapel (St. Mary's Chapel):- Entrance arch on square
jambs with small engaged half-round shafts on moulded bases, moulded bell caps above
with grooved and hollow chamfered abaci. Two lancet windows, that to east original,
that to south raised in C13. Over north jamb of tower arch is late C15 door to
rood loft.
Fittings:- Piscina in South Chancel Chapel with aumbry/paten place above under
trefoil head and with round bowl projecting. Square recess on north aisle wall
(aumbry?), piscina on south aisle wall with mutilated boss and small credence
shelf over. C19 chalk and grey marble Victorian Gothic pulpit with dog-tooth
mouldings, floral carving and hexagonal body on centre stem; each face of the
pulpit pierced by a two-light and foiled roundel opening. Chalk font with square
plinth and bowl on centre stem and surrounding angle piers with scalloped caps.
Hatchment over North door 1707. Part of C15 reredos from the south chapel made up
into organ case. Wall paintings - All over the north chancel chapel apse; recorded
in C19 but now largely gone, some traces of painting survive on soffit of entrance
arch to Chapel. Stained glass:- West window of north aisle by the Royal Bavarian
Art Institute for Stained Glass circa 1850. The church tower is the most important
structural pre-conquest work remaining in Surrey. As Guildford was a popular Royal
abode in the C12 and C13 the church was used for Royal worship and Thomas Becket
may have celebrated Mass here. The Reverend Charles Dodgeson (Lewis Carroll) also
preached at St. Mary's.

V.C.H. (1967 Edn) VOL. III pp.563-7.
V.C.H. (1911 Edn) VOL. II p.447, sketch p.446.
E. J. CARLOS: ARCHAEOLOGY (27) 1838 pp.413-4 (description of Paintings).

Listing NGR: SU9961449344

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.