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Description: Church of St Paul (C of E) and the Langford-Brooke Monument
Date Listed: 26 February 2009
English Heritage Building ID: 504908
OS Grid Reference: SJ7232480006
OS Grid Coordinates: 372324, 380006
Latitude/Longitude: 53.3163, -2.4169
204/0/10002 CHESTER ROAD
26-FEB-09 (West side)
Church of St Paul (C of E) and the Lan
Anglican church, 1853-55 partly rebuilt 1856 following fire, by Anthony Salvin, coursed rock-faced sandstone, slate roofs with sandstone copings, Early English style, N side aisle, bell turret.
EXTERIOR: Pointed arched windows to E & W ends and S side with geometrical stone tracery of varying designs, leaded lights, stained glass, hoodmoulds. Buttresses to front and rear elevations, diagonal buttresses to each end elevation. 3-bay nave with two large pointed arched windows to right of S side; that to far right with stained glass, small cusped lancet to far left. Entrance porch to W end of S elevation surmounted by shaped cross finial, cusped lancet window to left return, tiled floor. S doorway within porch with pointed arched ashlar surround incorporating slender flanking columns, timber double doors with studding and strap hinges. Inner vestibule with panelled double doors, segmental pointed 3-light leaded overlight. Lower 2-bay chancel to E end with two stained glass pointed arched windows, doorway with carved surround and shaped head containing studded door with decorative strap hinges. Tall stained glass windows to E & W gable ends. N side aisle with three small paired cusped leaded-light lancet windows, lancet window with stone tracery to right return of aisle at W end. Vestry to NE corner with lancet window to E wall (partially obscured by timber lean-to shed in front) in same style as that to W end of N side aisle, slender octagonal chimney stack with alternate chamfered sides (part of heating system). Square bell turret set to ridge behind W gable end with shingle sides and hexagonal roof, 3-light leaded windows to N & S sides. Cross-shaped finials of varying design including Celtic cross finial to E end of chancel, Fleuree style cross finial to E end of nave.
INTERIOR: Plastered walls, plain and geometric tiled floor to aisle and chancel (diapered design to W end of aisle), mosaic floor with fleur-de-lys design to altar, slightly raised timber floorboard floor to major part of nave. Nave and N side aisle with mid C19 pews, tiered pews to choir, timber choir rail with curvilinear tracery, panelled dado. Arched brace roof trusses to nave (two to W end are queen post trusses), panelled wagon-style roof with angled sides and gold coloured foliage bosses to chancel. Extremely ornate carved timber rood screen by FH Crossley (1908) incorporating tracery decoration, flora and fauna imagery, carved shields displaying initials of saints associated with St Paul's Church, solid panels with cusped ogee heads and quatrefoils to lower part of screen (carved central lower panels represent fall and redemption of mankind), pierced cusped ogee-style openings to upper parts of screen and central doorway, rood beam incorporates carved shields displaying symbols of the Passion. Inscription to E side of rood beam reads 'To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Mary O'Neil, who departed this life December 2nd A.D. MCM'. Inscription to transom bar reads 'Kathorina Longridge me fieri curavit per Fredericum Crossley sculptorem, Arthuro Symonds, hujus ecclesiae Vicario, A.S. MCMVIII' roughly translated as 'Katharine Longridge caused me to be made by Fred Crossley, sculptor/carver, Arthur Symonds being vicar, the year of salvation 1908'. Large decorative carved timber rood (cross) hangs from tie beam of roof truss above rood screen, possibly also by FH Crossley. Raised timber pulpit set on stone base to right of screen with decorative traceried timber hood incorporates panelling behind. Carved timber reredos with cusped panels. Organ to left side of chancel behind choir stalls, arched vestry door to right with studded door and decorative strap hinges. Gold relief lettering applied to N & S sides of base of chancel roof reads 'In memory of Thomas William Langford Brooke of Mere who laid the foundation stone of this church April 4th 1853. He died Sept 14th 1872 Aged 29 years'. Chancel roof incorporates wood carvings depicting badgers (Langford-Brooke family) and swans (Over Tabley). Large stained glass E window in memory of Thomas William Langford-Brooke incorporates circle of angels around Christ, two chancel windows in similar style, all possibly by Henry James Salisbury of St Albans c.1884. Large stained glass W window in memory of Henry Langford-Brooke depicts St Peter & St Paul, stained glass S window in memory of Reverend Mather depicts St Peter feeding sheep (left light) and St Paul bidding farewell to Elders of Ephesus (right light), both by Christopher Whall c.1900.
ASSOCIATED MONUMENTS: Sandstone grave monument with plain low tomb chest with angled sides and crow-stepped tablet set to SE of entrance porch, to Henry Lewis Brooke, carved by Eric & Macdonald Gill c.1909. Carved nowy-headed panel to lower part of tablet incorporates a badger (Langford-Brooke family emblem), Sans Gill lettering (weather worn) beneath image reads 'Henry Lewis Brooke, Langford-Brooke, March 24 1842, December 17 1907, Well Beloved'. Large carving of tree of life to upper part of tablet set within raised border.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURE: Low rock-faced sandstone churchyard wall, gableted gate piers with cusped tympanum to centre of S wall in line with church entrance.
HISTORY: St Paul's Church, Over Tabley was constructed in 1853-55 to the designs of Anthony Salvin at a cost of £1316 for the Reverend Joseph Horder. The foundation stone was laid by Thomas William Langford-Brooke. The Langford-Brookes who owned nearby Mere Hall provided the land for the church. The church was consecrated on March 18th 1855 but in the same year a boiler fire destroyed much of the building and it was subsequently restored to the original designs and reopened in 1856. In 1878 wood panelling was brought in from a church at Witton and installed as a dado. During the 1880s Fred Crossley was a farm worker from Yorkshire employed in Over Tabley. Mrs Mather (the vicar's wife) organised wood carving classes in the village, which Fred attended. His great skill led to him eventually developing his own business in Chester and writing a number of books on church woodwork and carving, and Cheshire. In 1908 the chancel screen carved by Fred Crossley was presented to the church by a Miss Katherine Longridge.
Allibone J. 1988. 'Anthony Salvin: Pioneer of Gothic Revival Architecture'. Cambridge: Lutterworth Press.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. 2004-8. 'Whall, Christopher Whitworth (1849-1924)'. Available on HTTP: http://www.oxforddnb.com
The Eric Gill Society. 2008. 'Eric Gill Biography'. Available on HTTP: http://www.ericgill.org.uk
Unpublished sources: St Paul's Church records.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
St Paul's Church & the Langford-Brooke monument are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is an impressive and finely detailed small mid C19 Anglican church in Early English style designed by the nationally significant architect, Anthony Salvin
* The building retains its original historic character and features
* Original features of high quality survive throughout including carved woodwork, tiled and mosaic floors, pews, an ornate carved timber rood screen by FH Crossley dating to 1908 and highly decorative stained glass windows including two notable works by the pre-eminent Arts & Crafts stained glass artist, Christopher Whall
* The Langford-Brooke monument in the graveyard was carved by Eric and Macdonald Gill c.1909, and incorporates imagery and Eric Gill's fine lettering
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.