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Church of St James, Avebury

Description: Church of St James

Grade: I
Date Listed: 22 August 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 311506

OS Grid Reference: SU0997669968
OS Grid Coordinates: 409976, 169968
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4286, -1.8579

Location: 110 High Street, Avebury, Wiltshire SN8 1RF

Locality: Avebury
County: Wiltshire
Country: England
Postcode: SN8 1RF

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Listing Text

SU 06 NE
(north side)
11/85 Church of St James


Anglican parish church. C10, late C12, C13, C14, C15, 1812 and
chancel restored 1879 by R.J. Withers. Dispersed sarsen and flint,
with limestone dressings and ashlar west tower. Stone slate roof
to porch, slate to nave, chancel and organ chamber, lead to aisles
and screed to north aisle. Late Anglo-Saxon nave, with C15 aisles
replacing late C12 narrower aisles. C13 chancel, replacing Saxon
chancel, much rebuilt in 1879. C14 south porch and west tower.
South porch, also largely rebuilt, with 4-centred arch and fine
late C12 reset inner door. This has round arch on double nook
shafts, the arch torus moulded with carved chevron and large
nailhead outer orders. Corbel at apex. Windows to aisles 3-light
Perpendicular, to chancel 2-light and 3-light east window, all with
bar tracery. West tower of 3 stages, with angle buttresses and
south east square to octagonal stair rising above crenellated
parapet Low west door and large 4-light window over. Two light
windows to ringing and bell chambers. Crocketed pinnacles to
parapet. Aisles have crenellated parapet to independent roofs
built at same time as tower.
Interior: Tall Anglo-Saxon nave with two single chamfered windows
at west end, rebated for shutters on outer face. Some contemporary
wall plaster now within north aisle. Three of four original
circular windows to clerestory with holes around. C10 walls
pierced by C12 arcade of low arches, of which only keeled nook
shafts of imposts survive insertion of later medieval arcade, of 2
bays, raised on tall Tuscan columns inserted in 1812. Ogee outer
order to chamfered arches. Two light clerestory windows, C17 or
later. Tall hollow chamfered tower arch; C15 roof with moulded
ties, collars and purlins. Aisles have near flat roofs with
moulded ties, and squints to chancel. North aisle has small
piscina and stair to rood loft in east pier. Chancel has open
timber barrel vault, walls rendered and colourwashed, and tiled
floor. Reset piscina with quatrefoiled sink, and arched aumbry.
Fittings: Font. A fine C12 barrel with bishop holding crozier
flanked by dragons and scrolls. Close spaced arcading below.
Pulpit: C19, dark oak. Roof Screen: Imposing panelled screen of
C19, with apostles in lower panels against gilded fields, and above
C19 coving, a rare complete C15 rood loft with coloured and gilded
panelled front resting on beam on wall brackets, with trefoiled
arches carrying steep crocketed gables, and friezes of leaves and
grapes. Brass lectern. Choir stalls incorporate C17 panelling.
Altar C19, with reredos of painted panels with crucifixion and
angels. Organ in C19 organ chamber, by Maley of London.
Monuments: North Aisle; three C19 wall tablets, to William Kemm,
died 1853, and successors; a draped urn over corniced panel, by
Harrison of Marlborough. Simple tablet to Elizabeth Brown, died
1835, also by Harrison, a tablet to John Brown, died 1839. On east
wall a panel with Gothic border to Rev. John Mayo, died 1866.
South Aisle: Limestone war memorial over door. In Chancel: North
wall; A fine Carrara marble wall monument with arched pediment,
Corinthian pilasters, gadrooned table on brackets and apron.
Angels drawing back curtains over inscription to Dame Susanna
Holford, died 1772. Drapes at side. Also 2 wall tablets, white
marble on grey to William Tanner, died 1847, draped urn over, by
Reeves of Bath, and gabled wall tablet to another William Tanner.
South side: Carved limestone aedicule with strapwork crest and
apron containing 3 brasses, to John Truslowe, erected by his son,
1593. Also a white marble tablet on grey, to John Mayo, died 1830,
by Reeves and a small tablet to William Tanner, died 1826, also by
Reeves. Brasses: Brass of priest, William Bayly, died 1427,
brought from Berwick Bassett Church (q.v.) and C19 brass in north
aisle. Miscellaneous: Restored hatchment under tower to Lt Gen
Sir Alan Williamson, died 1798, and Royal Arms of George III. Also
parts of C17 bellcage. Furniture: In north aisle, a panelled
chest dated 1634 IG. TS and in choir, a C17 chair. Sculpture:
Reset in porch, part of Anglo-Saxon baptismal scene and various C12
fragments. In west wall of nave externally, part of Anglo-Saxon
cross built into the later Saxon fabric.
(N. Pevsner: Buildings of England: WILTSHIRE; Taylor & Taylor,
Anglo-Saxon Architecture, 1965, 32-34; C.E. Ponting in W.A.M., 21

Listing NGR: SU0997669969

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.