Description: Parish Church of St Mary
Date Listed: 1 August 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 322922
OS Grid Reference: NZ1743201066
OS Grid Coordinates: 417432, 501066
Latitude/Longitude: 54.4048, -1.7330
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681/3/53 CHURCH WYND
01-AUG-52 Parish Church of St Mary
Parish church of C12 to early C15, rebuilt and restored 1858-59 by G.G. Scott.
MATERIALS: Rubble sandstone with freestone dressings, graded slate roofs, except for leaded north aisle roof and stone-slab roof of north porch.
PLAN: Nave with lower chancel, aisles (incorporating a chapel at the east end of the south aisle), north and south porches, west tower, north vestry.
EXTERIOR: The Perpendicular 3-stage tower has diagonal buttresses with gabled offsets, and embattled parapet. In the lower stage is a 4-light west window. The 2nd stage has a small narrow west window and clock on the north face. Two-light belfry openings have transoms and louvres. The 5-bay nave has a plain parapet and square-headed clerestorey windows incorporating Decorated tracery. Buttressed aisles do not conform to the nave bay structure, and both continue across 2 bays of the chancel. The north aisle is 6 bays. It has a plain parapet and C19 square-headed Perpendicular windows in a medieval wall. The first bay, embracing the tower, is a vestry with 2-light window and a doorway with continuous moulding, above which a medieval grave slab has been inserted into the wall. The porch is in the second bay, and remaining bays have 3-light windows and a blocked C13 doorway with continuous chamfer. The C14 porch has diagonal buttresses and a continuous moulded doorway with niche above. The south aisle has a freestone parapet, C19 porch in the first bay with shafted entrance with foliage capitals, and more conventional Decorated windows. There are three narrow 2-light windows then, allowing for the fall in the ground and the chapel at the east end of the aisle, three larger 3-light windows with reticulated tracery, and a smaller square-headed 2-light window at the east end. It also has a 4-light Perpendicular east window. The chancel has Perpendicular windows: 5-light east and 2-light south, and diagonal buttresses. The north vestry is 2-storey, with shouldered lintel to a doorway below a 2-light Decorated window.
INTERIOR: The north porch has a keeled tunnel vault with curious crossed ribs. The north-aisle doorway has nook shafts. The high tower arch has 2 orders of chamfer dying into the imposts, of 1399. The first bay of the nave arcades are late C12 work. The responds are semi-circular, with concave capital on the north and scalloped capital on the south side. On the north side is a pointed stepped arch and a round pier with concave capital and square abacus. On the south side is a pointed double-chamfered arch, possibly a C13 alteration, and a large square pier with nook shafts and bowl capitals which, on the east side, are carved with animals. The remainder of the arcades are Scott¿s work, 4 higher bays with quatrefoil piers, waterleaf capitals and moulded stepped arches. The nave has an open keeled wagon roof, the main trusses on corbelled shafts. Aisles have lean-to roofs on corbelled brackets. Another row of corbels in the aisle supported the galleries (added by Scott) that were taken down in 1921. The south aisle has a blocked doorway (not visible outside) with continuous ovolo moulding. The high chancel arch has an inner order on corbelled shafts, outer order on keeled shafts, with leaf capitals and square abaci. The chancel has a keeled wagon roof on corbels, with moulded and embossed ribs and X-shaped ribs in each panel. The roof is painted above the sanctuary. A sedillum has hood mould with head and flower stops and appears to be C14. Arches to north vestry and south chapel are subdivided, typical of Scott, with central round pier, foliage capitals and cusped circle in the spandrel. The south aisle chapel, dedicated to the Green Howards Regiment, is at a lower level reached down steps. It has restored C14 sedilia with continuous ovolo mouldings, and cusped piscina. The arch from the south aisle has semi-circular responds and foliage capitals. Walls are plastered, and in the chapel is a fragment of an angel from a C15 Annunciation wall painting. Nave and aisles have a tile floor with raised floorboards below pews, and a C20 raised floor at the east end. The chapel has a stone floor, incorporating marble inlay dated 1875, and the chancel has marble tiles.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The octagonal font is part of the 1399 rebuilding, a distinguished work of Teesdale marble, with shields around the bowl and arcaded stem. The well-carved pyramidal cover is C17. C19 pews have blind arcaded frontal and shaped ends with quatrefoils. The Gothic wooden pulpit is by Thompson of Kilburn. In the choir stalls the front row, with poppy heads and Gothic detailing, is C19. The rear row, which has moulded arm rests below a canopy with inscription, was made c1511 and was brought here from nearby Easby Abbey. There are 16 misericords, including pigs playing bagpipes (as at Beverley Minster and Ripon Cathedral), heads, animals and foliage. The reredos (1947) is a triptych with painted panels by Josef Heu, an Austrian refugee, showing Christ and saints, in a Gothic frame by Thompson of Kilburn. Wood panelling in the tower base is 1928. The most important memorial is a wall monument in the south wall of the chancel to Timothy Hutton (d 1629) and his wife Elizabeth; the deceased are shown at prayer, above a row of 8 weepers and 4 swaddled infants representing their children, each with an inscription and a separate coat of arms. There are several other C18 and C19 monuments, and the south chapel has Gothic memorial panels. There are stained-glass windows of the 1860s, including the east window attributed to O¿Connor, and a 2008 semi-abstract window by Alan Davies.
HISTORY: Parish church begun in the late C12, evidence for which is the arcading in the nave. The church was much enlarged in the C13, of which the north-aisle doorway remains, and was the principal parish church of the town, although it stood outside the town walls when they were constructed in the C14. The north porch is C14, as are the sedilia and piscina in the south chapel. In 1399 the tower was begun by the Earl of Westmorland, and the font is part of the same programme of works. It was evidently a substantial town church but its pre-C19 appearance is now difficult to ascertain after the substantial restoration and rebuilding in 1858-59. This was by Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-78), the most successful church architect of the C19 who was responsible for many church restorations; he is best known for his Foreign Office in Whitehall (1863-69), and for the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station (1869-72).
Pevsner, N., The Buildings of England: Yorkshire, The North Riding (1966), 290-91.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St Mary, Church Wynd, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* The church retains significant late C12 fabric in the first bay of the nave.
* It also has significant later medieval fabric, including the C14 vaulted north porch and the tower of 1399
* Fixtures of special interest include 1399 font, C15 wall painting fragment, fine early C16 choir stalls and misericords from Easby Abbey, and C17 wall monument
* The involvement of Sir George Gilbert Scott in the restoration is also of note
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.