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Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Worcester Park

Description: Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin

Grade: II
Date Listed: 22 March 1974
English Heritage Building ID: 290597

OS Grid Reference: TQ2147365607
OS Grid Coordinates: 521473, 165607
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3765, -0.2561

Location: The Avenue, Epsom, Surrey KT4 7JG

Locality: Worcester Park
Local Authority: Epsom and Ewell Borough Council
County: Surrey
Country: England
Postcode: KT4 7JG

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Listing Text

861/8/150 THE AVENUE
(North side)

DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT: 1894-5 by A. Thomas of Whitfield and Thomas. W end extension of c.1959 in the same style by David Nye. NW block of 1995.

MATERIALS: Knapped flint with red brick and stone dressings. Red clay tiled roofs. Timber flèche with lead covering.

PLAN: Nave and polygonal apsidal chancel under a continuous roof: the junction is marked by a flèche straddling the gable. N and S aisles, slightly shorter than the nave. Chancel S chapel. Organ chamber at NE with transverse gabled roof and a lower hipped roof vestry attached to its N. Parish rooms and offices attached at the NW corner.

EXTERIOR: The style of the church is Early English, characterised by lancet and Y-tracery windows. All the components of the building have plain parapets except for the nave and chancel which have plain eaves. The six-bay nave is flanked by lean-to aisles and has a clerestory with two lancets per bay, each bay being demarcated by a flat brick pilaster. The five-bay aisles have Y-tracery windows with short, stepped buttresses. The chancel is dominated by a polygonal apse with tall, stepped brick and stone buttresses, chequered flushwork decoration below the eaves and single-light lancet windows with brick surrounds. The E face of the apse contains a foundation stone dated 1894. The S chapel is under its own gable and has single-light lancets on the S side and a triple-light window on its E face. At the junction of the aisle and chapel is an octagonal clock tower with a timber-framed belfry, shingled roof and a clock of 1933. On the same axis is a small dormer to the nave roof and the slender octagonal flèche with lucarne windows. The W end has a triple-light window with intersecting tracery and an inserted square-headed doorway flanked by lancet windows. The N elevation is less prominent than the S and has a variety of protruding blocks including that of 1995 to the NW.

INTERIOR: There is no obvious distinction between the late C19 church and the 1950s western extension. The walls are rendered and have stone dressings. The chancel arch is moulded and has shafts with moulded capitals and the arcades to the aisles are similarly treated and have quatrefoil piers. In the chancel there is an arch to the organ chamber and a two-bay arched opening into the S chapel with a large pierced quatrefoil in its head. The arch-braced and boarded nave roof has stone wall-shafts rising from foliate corbels. In the apse the roof is also boarded and has moulded ribs and a central boss, all painted in 1974. The aisle and chapel roofs are boarded too, the latter being decorated with moulded ribs.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: A good coved timber screen marks the division between nave and chancel. It has a wide central opening and is decorated with carved angels. The apse is lined with alabaster and has a mosaic floor to the sanctuary: in the choir the floor is of encaustic tiles. The altar rails are of brass and have fine scrollwork in each division. Against the E wall the reredos consists of a carved stone panel of `Suffer the Little Children...'in a painted stone frame. The sedilia consists of a two-light late C13-style recess the design of which reflects the arches into the chapel. The choir stalls have decorative traceried open fronts. In the nave there are wooden benches with shaped ends. There is a polygonal stone pulpit with open traceried sides and angel head decoration. The font has a Caen stone quatrefoil bowl with foliate carving between the bowl and the base which has four stubby green marble shafts. The windows include work by Clayton and Bell. The W window is by Lawrence Lee. The Father Willis organ dates from 1898.

HISTORY: The church was built in 1894-5 to designs by Whitfield and Thomas on land formerly part of the great park of Nonsuch Palace, Henry VIII's favourite residence, begun in 1538. The builders were Goddard and Son of Farnham, a major firm who undertook mnay church-building projects. In 1865 the Landed Estates Co. Ltd had purchased part of the former park as development land with a plot set aside for a church and a parsonage. Leach suggests that the church may have been planned with the idea of encouraging further development with the existence of a church also increasing the value of local property. The church did indeed become a focus for housing with the present dense suburban layout emerging in the 1920s and 1930s. The church was seamlessly extended to the W in the 1950s under the architect David Nye with the W end and choir vestry being dedicated in 1959. The contractors were Ides Ltd. A further extension of 1995 provided a linked block to the NW accommodating the parish offices and rooms.

Leach, R., History of St Mary¿s Church, Cuddington (1995)
Nairn, I and Pevsner, N., (rev. Bridget Cherry), The Buildings of England: Surrey, Harmondsworth (1971),539

The church of St Mary the Virgin, Cuddington, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a well-composed late C19 church which has been sensitively extended in the mid-C20.
* It has a good assemblage of fixtures

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.