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Church of St Mary and St Nicholas, Wilton

Description: Church of St Mary and St Nicholas

Grade: I
Date Listed: 4 August 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 319324

OS Grid Reference: SU0948231288
OS Grid Coordinates: 409482, 131288
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0808, -1.8660

Location: A30, Wilton, Wiltshire SP2 0DF

Locality: Wilton
County: Wiltshire
Country: England
Postcode: SP2 0DF

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

Listing Text

932/5/50 WEST STREET
04-AUG-51 (Southwest side)


1841-44. Architects T. H. Wyatt and D. Brandon for the Rt. Hon. Sir Sydney
Herbert (later Lord Herbert of Lea), Secretary at War, and for his mother
the Russian dowager countess of Pembroke. Cost ?20,000. Partly on site
of mediaeval church of St Nicholas. North Italian Romanesque style based
partly on the Churches of S. S. Pietro and Maria at Tuscania C11 and C12.
Built of ashlar with slate roofs. Basilican plan with 3 apses, nave and
side aisles. Separate campanile 108 ft high. Wide parvis to "West" front
with -steps (the church is orientated north-south in accordance with Russian
tradition). West front tripartite central gabled part breaks forward.
Lombard arcading and banding to centre. Very ornate wheel window with tetramorph
over arcade above central portal. Wall thickened for central portal of
4 main orders, heavily decorated, twisted colonnettes, outer standing on
lions (see S Maria Tuscania, and Lombard churches in general). Flanking
portals of 2 orders, small aedicules over with paired round-headed windows
over string. Above the wheel window is a niche containing an angel with
arms outstretched. The campanile is connected by a.5 bay cloister with
ornate columns and caps. It is of 3 stages: a battered base, entered from
"North", an elongated middle stage with arcaded wall buttresses with belfry
over 1'5-light windows to each face) and a 3rd stage which has a small arcade
of windows below and pairs of windows above and a heavily moulded eaves
cornice. The main vessel has 8 bay side walls with Lombard band and arcading.
Venetian tracery to clerestory. Aedicule on "South" side with coffin containing
bones disturbed for foundations. Shallow apses to aisles, deeper central
apse over Pembroke family vault. -
The interior has high arcades with triforium over, a clerestory and corbels
to king post roof. Elaborately carved caps. The 2 side apses have flanking
black marble columns from the Temple of Venus at Porto Venere (2nd century
BC). "West" gallery. Narrow bay to crossing whose side arches are the
same height as the arcade which has a reduced arch on each side. Crossing
vault and arch into apse. Mosaics in apse by Gertrude Martin. A number
of family monuments including white marble effigies of the founders of
the church (designed by Wyatt, carved by J. B. Philips). Pulpit reached
by C19 Roman opus alexandrinum. The pulpit itself is very interesting dating
from 1256 and originating from S. Maria Maggiora.
The most important elements of the interior are the stained glass: French
C12 and C13, some said to come from S. Denis and the Ste. Chapelle and
German and Flemish C14-C16. Details of this and other treasures inside
the church and out can be found in Pevsner and the Church guidebook.


Listing NGR: SU0946831274

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.