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Church of St Margaret, Grittleton

Description: Church of St Margaret

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 20 December 1960
English Heritage Building ID: 315822

OS Grid Reference: ST8845379276
OS Grid Coordinates: 388453, 179276
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5123, -2.1678

Location: Grittleton, Wiltshire SN14 6JZ

Locality: Grittleton
County: Wiltshire
Country: England
Postcode: SN14 6JZ

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Listing Text

ST 87 NE

7/11 Church of St Margaret



Anglican parish church, 1846 by James Thomson for Joseph Neeld of
Grittleton. Squared ashlar block with stone slate roofs, coped
gables, cross finials and large ashlar bellcote over chancel arch.
Nave, shorter aisles, south porch, north transept and chancel.
Generally Decorated Gothic in style, but with personal variations.
Moulded plinth right around, diagonal buttresses at angles, except
for nave west end which has clasping buttresses. Windows generally
pointed, deep-set with hoodmoulds and carved stops. Large 5-light
west window, 2-light west windows and 3-light east windows to
aisles. South aisle has flat-headed Perpendicular style 2-light
each side of projecting gabled porch with ornate small statue niche
over pointed-arched doorway. North aisle has central projecting
transept with ashlar semi-circular apse to north and stone gablet
at eaves each side over curved triangular light. Long chancel has
2 lancets each side, those to south with tiny quatrefoil lights
above. Roundel east window set high in plain wall. Plinth
incorporates tomb slabs of two C17 vicars, P. Kingsman and R.
Latymer. Over chancel arch is remarkable bell-turret, a near copy
of the C14 original, reused on the school at Sevington (q.v.).
Diagonally-set square with pointed arches, row of five shafts at
angles and short stone spire with Evangelist symbols over angles.
Interior: ashlar, open wagon roofs with carved bosses and ribbs
rising from small carved corbels. Curious 3-bay arcades with
circular piers, 2-chamfer round arches and no capital between,
merely a stylised leaf, the motif copied by Thomson from the south
aisle of the original church. The north arcade is infilled with
round-arched arcading on ashlar base to screen north aisle,
intended as Neeld family chapel, 3-arch infill each side, 2-arch to
centre. Nave has ovolo-moulded course over arcades and some
painted decoration to roof. At west end, blank north and south
walls have affixed six early C18-style monuments to the Browning
family, dated 1751 to 1791. West window has apocalyptically-
coloured Crucifixion window by T. Wilmshurst. Wilmshurst glass to
end windows of aisles also. North aisle is more elaborately
treated, with painted decoration to roof, encaustic-tiled floor and
in centre of north wall a projecting stone organ-loft corbelled-out
on a short circular column to half-hexagonal splay ornamented with
carved arms and painted decoration. Blank Gothic arcading above
and decorative pierced timber screens each side of carved and
painted organ case. Pointed-arched doorways each side of organ-
loft, one giving access to vestry, one to loft. Vestry has apse to
north, function uncertain. Family pew at east end facing south,
with large Gothic memorial to Joseph Neeld (died 1856) behind. At
west end, on north wall similar marble and alabaster Gothic
memorials to Sir John Neeld Bt (died 1891) and Sir Algernon Neeld
Bt (died 1900). South aisle has west end memorials to J. Browning
(died 1706) and J. Browning (died 1824), signed T. King. East end
plaque to E. Chiver died 1653. Stone octagonal font and stone
almsbox on Gothic column. In nave, former lectern, now pulpit has
pierced stone balustrading on 3 sides. Original pulpit is in
Grittleton Church (q.v.). Two-chamfered chancel arch with pierced
stone rail, even the gate of ashlar. Chancel has painted
decoration to roof and window surrounds, and is divided into
unfurnished choir with fine encaustic tile floor and elaborate
sanctuary dramatically lit by single east roundel set high with
dove in yellow clouds. Two marble steps to sanctuary and encaustic
tile floor. Aumbry and piscina with painted decoration. East wall
has ornate Gothic reredos of 7 canopied niches, the broader centre
niche with ogee half-dome. Gothic blank arcading below and
lettered frieze above. Niches have five statues by E.H. Baily
after originals by B. Thorwaldsen, Christ in centre and Evangelists
each side. Outer niches have Commandments painted. Blank arcading
has centre panel with Lords Prayer. Above reredos entire wall is
covered in painted decoration, possibly on canvas. There is said
to be a vaulted crypt under the north aisle. James Thomson
described his work as restoration but there are no old features,
bellcote, arcades, chancel arch and possibly the Perpendicular
detail of south aisle windows are copied. The building is rather
of significance as a small scale and highly elaborate estate church
of the pre-archaeological phase of the Gothic revival, notable for
the use of the north aisle as a family pew, the theatrical use of
light and colour in the chancel and the spectacular colouring of T.
Wilmshurst's west window.
(Builder 6, 1848, 377-8; N. Pevsner, Wiltshire, 1975, 294-5; M.
Harrison, Victorian Stained Glass, 1980, Plate 6; Wiltshire Record
Office, 1620/43 has designs, and drawings of old church by Thomson

Listing NGR: ST8845379276

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.