Church of St Mary, Swell
Description: Church of St Mary
Date Listed: 25 August 1960
English Heritage Building ID: 413963
OS Grid Reference: SP1739525704
OS Grid Coordinates: 417395, 225704
Latitude/Longitude: 51.9296, -1.7484
Location: 1 St Mary's Close, Swell, Gloucestershire GL54 1LF
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SWELL LOWER SWELL
7/137 Church of St Mary
Parish church. Mid C12, altered C15. Enlarged, virtually doubled, in 1852.
Architect J C Buckler "who dreamed and drew fine things, but realised rather poor
ones" (BOE), chancel 1870. C12 ashlar, C15 rubble and C19 rough-faced rubble;
Cotswold stone roofs with coped verges. Small 2 cell C12 church of 2:1 bays now
acting as south aisle and chapel to the larger C19 church which projects to east
and west. West gable has tripartite bellcote of 1901 in early English style. Narrow
south porch, thought to be C15. The C12 ashlar work of the south wall is interrupted
in 1st bay west of chancel where a C15 aisle and rood stair were lopped off by Sir
Robert Atkyn, late C17. Roof raised C15. Double chamfer string courses at east
and west ends of C12 church. Moulded eaves cornice. Three-Light rectilinear west
window and a late C15 curvilinear square-head window to south in deeply-hollowed
surround. Fine rustic Norman south door of 3 orders with 2 nook shafts, inner for
cable voussoirs; jambs contained as surround to tympanum with chip-carving; the
tympanum, which is in fact cut into a flat arch represents an (unfinished) Tree
of Life with one bird. The upper level of the former nave contains a re-set course
of chevron, perhaps from the north doorway. The chancel has a small pillar of chip-
carving re-set next to east window (2 light late C15 square headed). Carved C12
corbels to chancel eaves; small round-headed window and square "low side" window
in south wall of former chancel. The C19 work is in early English style with stepped
lancets to east; re-used C12 corbels to north of chancel; 1:3 bay nave; 1:1 bay
chancel. Interior: C12 chancel arch to former chancel with 3 pairs of nook-shafts;
the 3 outer orders are carved with chip-carving, cable and very unusual, not to
say unique, animals (? a failed Zodiac); 4 primitive carvings survive on the caps.
South window has image niche in east jamb. The south window of the former chancel
has rere-arch with carved bases and caps to shafts. The C19 church opens off the
C12 part with a two-bay arcade; screen to chancel; the chancel is a period piece
largely by Clayton and Bell: glass, wall paintings, tiles, double piscina, communion
table - part of the 'beautification' of 1883. The best stained glass is in the
south window of the C12 part. The former chancel has a roof with arch-braced collar
coupled rafters, possible mediaeval. C15 font re-cut in C19: octagonal chalice-type
with perpendicular style tracery panelling containing shields bearing the Saltire
Cross of the Slaughter family.
Listing NGR: SP1739525704
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.