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Church of St Katharine, Merstham

Description: Church of St Katharine

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 19 October 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 289323

OS Grid Reference: TQ2902053798
OS Grid Coordinates: 529020, 153798
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2687, -0.1520

Location: 15 Church Hill, Reigate and Banstead, Surrey RH1 3BH

Locality: Merstham
Local Authority: Reigate and Banstead Borough Council
County: Surrey
Country: England
Postcode: RH1 3BH

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Listing Text


Church, sited in a large churchyard. Tower, nave and chancel of C13 origins; C14 or C15 S porch; medieval Perpendicular chancel chapels; S aisle rebuilt in 1874-5; vestries of 1861 and 1895. Flint and Merstham stone rubble, except the S chancel chapel which is ashlar masonry, the tower limewashed; tiled roofs with stone slates at the eaves of the nave; copper roofs to aisles. Plan of nave with clerestory; chancel, W tower; lean-to N and S aisles; SE and NE chapels; NW vestries.

Exterior: The S side is the show front with 2 flights of steps up to the gabled S porch which has a moulded outer doorway, square-headed hoodmould and carved spandrels; sundial in gable. C19 S aisle with carved cornice with fleurons; 2-light square-headed C19 windows with quirky tracery; cusped rounded clerestory windows above. To the E the ashlar masonry E chapel with a diagonal SE buttress has very large square-headed, 2-light cusped windows with a moulded doorway between(masonry renewed 1932-33), and a 3-light Perpendicular E window. The E window of the chancel is 5-light C19 Perpendicular. The N aisle has a 2-light window to the E with a triangular head and cusped lights. The C19 vestries are adjacent gabled blocks, roofed at right angles to the aisle. The N chapel has triangular-headed windows with cusped light to N and E. The church is a good C13 4-level tower with C19 angle buttresses and a substantial broach spire. The tower has tall C13 lancet windows at each stage, a probably C16 3-light W window, and a fine C13 trefoil-headed W doorway with an order of toothed ornament on slender shafts with bell capitals and a door with medieval ironwork.

Interior: Chamfered chancel arch on semi-circular responds, remnants of C13 blind arcading on N and S chancel walls. 3-bay arcades, the N with octagonal piers, the S cylindrical with double chamfered arches. 2-centred double-chamfered chancel arch on semi-circular responds. Late medieval tie beam and crown post roof to the nave with plain crown posts and 2-way braces, boarded behind. Lean-to C19 aisle roofs, boarded behind. The chancel has a plaster vault with a classically moulded wallplate, probably C17, and a single beam with bar step stops on the N, but cut back on the S. Asymmetrical arches into the N and S chapels, perhaps to accommodate a rood screen across the whole width of the church. Late medieval tie beam and crown post roof to N chancel chapel with a moulded post and 4-way bracing. Canted plaster vault to S chapel with a moulded wallplate. C13 double piscina in E wall on a corbel carved with stiff-leaf foliage. 1903 choir stalls, the ends and frontals carved with blind tracery. 1930 altar and timber reredos with painted panels. 1935 altar and timber reredos in N chancel chapel. Polygonal timber pulpit of 1885 with open traceried sides on a stone stem. Circa C13 font with square bowl with trefoils carved in the corners, arcaded on 3 sides only, on a cylindrical stem with corner shafts. Benches of 1861, the ends square-headed, with buttress-like features to the sides. Monuments include mutilated C15 secular effigy and C15 and C16 brasses. Fragments of medieval glass in the E window of the S chapel. C19 windows include designs by Messrs Powell of Whitefriars and a 1935 tower window by Hugh Easton.

St Katherine's, Merstham is an example of an ambitious evolved medieval church with a fine C13 tower and much surviving internal fabric including late medieval roof structure.

Pevsner, Surrey, 1971 edn., 360-361
Morris, M., St Katherine's Church, Merstham, 1990

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.