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Church of St Mary and St Melor

A Grade I Listed Building in Amesbury, Wiltshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.172 / 51°10'19"N

Longitude: -1.7843 / 1°47'3"W

OS Eastings: 415176

OS Northings: 141435

OS Grid: SU151414

Mapcode National: GBR 502.KP7

Mapcode Global: VHB5C.1S2Y

Entry Name: Church of St Mary and St Melor

Listing Date: 18 February 1958

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1182066

English Heritage Legacy ID: 321323

Location: Amesbury, Wiltshire, SP4

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Amesbury

Built-Up Area: Amesbury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Amesbury St Mary and St Melor

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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Listing Text

In the entry for:
AMESBURY CHURCH STREET
(north side)

Church of St Mary and
11/12 St Melor

18.2.58

The description shall be amended to read:

SU 1541 AMESBURY CHURCH STREET
(north side)

11/12 Church of St Mary and
St Melor
18.2.58

- I
Abbey church of the Order of Fontevrault, now Anglican parish church. C12, C13,
C14 and C15, restored 1852-3 by William Butterfield at cost of £1500. Flint and
limestone, some diaper work. Tiled roofs. Cruciform plan with C12 nave, and
crossing, chancel transepts and tower rebuilt in C13. South aisle added C15.
Chancel, tall, built of ashlar above sill level, with tall lancets, east window
replaced with 5-light window in 1852-3. Transepts have shorter lancets, south
transept south wall rebuilt C19. Chamfered outset at eaves. Creasing for
former east chapel on south transept, replaced by arch, in turn replaced by
3-light cusped window. Eastern chapel remains on north transept, and second
inner chapel removed. Nave has corbel table and jambs of clerestory windows on
north side, but has been shortened, probably prior to C19 restoration, but
present west end with 3 windows is by Butterfield. C15 two-light clerestory
windows replacing original. South aisle of 2 bays incorporating some Roman
brick, 3-light windows with pointed segmental heads. Late C15 square-headed
door at west end of south wall. North side formerly had attached structure,
apparently not an aisle, but also unlikely to be cloister of nunnery. North
wall of nave has, beyond west end, lower section of elaborate late C12 doorway,
with 4 shafts and early stiff leaf foliage capitals on internal side. Central
tower of 2 stages, with lancets at bell stage and plain parapet. Entrance now
in south gable of south transept. Interior: Nave of 5 roof bays, late C15-C16
moulded tie-beam trusses with open panelwork and carved wall brackets. South
arcade inserted in C12 walls in C15, 2 bays. Three blocked C12 clerestory
windows over. Pier has hollow mouldings between 4 shafts, and arches of 2
hollow chamfers. Half arch at west end. Crossing arches on triple keeled
shafts, 3 chamfered orders. South west pier has late medieval panel embellish-
ment. C12 pier for a north nave opening excavated in wall, possibly a pre-
Norman shaft base. Chancel has 3 roof bays, C19 trussed rafters with inclined
ashlars, and chamfered ties. Embrasures to windows and rere-arches. Windows on
north side partially blocked probably to accommodate lean-to or chapel now
demolished. North priest's door. Elaborate moulded recess adjacent, with
crocketed gable and pinnacles, known as the abbesses' seat, possibly an Easter
sepulchre. Credence table on south side supported on corbels in form of angels
holding shields inscribed DED, from east window, reset C19. East end panelled
with marble divided by strips of red, blue and yellow tiles, hidden. South
aisle arch to transept has capital embillished with leaf motif as arcade. Small
piscina with credence shelf. Stoup by south west door, now containing a
medieval queen's head. Transepts have C16 plaster vaults with moulded timber
members, angels at junction of ribs with wall plates. C13 arch to east chapel
in north transept. This chapel, the Jesus Chapel, has C13 quadripartite vault
of ribs on stiff leaf capitals. Large double piscina. Above entrance arch, a
doorway to space over vault. Fittings: Font: In south aisle, C12 Purbeck
marble, a tapered square with shallow blind arcading, reset on C15 arcaded lime-
stone base. Pulpit, C19 oak on stone base. Second font at west end a truncated
octagonal shaft with string and triangular fillets to square base. Medieval.
Chancel screen C15 or early C16, reset in 1907, oak. Large 5-light bays with
tracery and central pair of doors. Fixings for absent rood over. Similar C19
screen to north transept. Choir stalls by Butterfield, boldly panelled, and
similar altar rail. Organ with elaborate case, from St Edmund's church
Salisbury. Furniture: Small C17 chest in chancel. Fine late Cl6 table on
thick twisted balusters, in south transept. At west end, glass case containing
fragments of a fine Anglo Saxon double wheel headed cross carved on face and
edge with a double strand interlace, and fragment of a second cross (?). Glass:
North West chancel window contains C14 grisaille work, and below, the upper part
of a fine C15 Queen of Heaven in an architectural frame. Early C20 glass in 2
south lancets. Monuments: In chancel: Eleven wall monuments, including (a) A
Delft tile on marble inscribed to Lucretia Corfe, died 1755; (b) Carved moulded
panel to John Thurloe, etc erected 1683; (c) An alabaster aedicule to George
Blake, died 1909, and various late C19 and C20 marble and gilt monuments to the
Antrobus family. One marble Fowle monument of 1916. In north transept: (a) A
tablet by Osmund, white marble on grey. A sarcophagus with gabled top to Henry
Selfe, died 1831. (b) Tablet, also by Osmund, marble drapery on black. To
Henry Long, died 1843, and Anne. South Transept: Two war memorials and three
C19 brasses, (a) By Osmund, white marble sarcophagus on black, to Elizabeth
Ouseley and Susan Palmer, children killed at Lucknow, 1857; (b) White stone
tablet to John Bundy, died 1794, and wife; (c) White marble on black, by Soper,
to Edward Fower, died 1911. Brass: In nave, dexter black, motto DEI MEMOR
GRATUS AMICI, for Sir Edmund Antrobus, died 1870. Benefaction board recording
four benefactions of 1677, 1708, 1725 and 1828 including the founding of the
Free Grammar School 1677. Clock: In south transept. C15, with twin drums, the
original verge and foliate escapement replaced. Amesbury Abbey was significant
in Arthurian legend, becoming an important late Anglo Saxon nunnery, refounded
as a double house under the Order of Fontevrault in 1170 and later, the centre
for a school of manuscript illumination (c.f. Amesbury Psalter, mid C13). The
precise position and layout of the monastic house is not known.
(Pevsner: Buildings of England, WILTSHIRE; Notes by Margaret Tomlinson for VCH;
Lt Col Chettle, The English Houses of the Order of Fontervrault, Downside
Review, LX, 1942; Amesbury Gleanings in W.A.N.H.S. 1876; Short Guide to the
Abbey Church of St Mary and St Melor, 1969)

------------------------------------

SU 1541 AMESBURY CHURCH STREET
(north side)

11/12 Church of St Mary and St Melor
18.2.58

I
Abbey church of the Order of Fontevrault, now Anglican parish
church. C12, C13, C14 and C15, restored 1852-3 by William
Butterfield at cost of £1500. Flint and limestone, some diaper
work. Tiled roofs. Cruciform plan with C12 nave, and crossing,
chancel transepts and tower rebuilt in C13. South aisle added C15.
Chancel, tall, built of ashlar above sill level, with tall lancets,
east window replaced with 5-light window in 1852-3. Transepts have
shorter lancets, south transept south wall rebuilt C19. Chamfered
outset at eaves. Creasing for former east chapel on south
transept, replaced by arch, in turn replaced by.3-light cusped
window. Eastern chapel remains on north transept, and second inner
chapel removed. Nave has corbel table and jambs of clerestory
windows on north side, but has been shortened, probably prior to
C19 restoration, but present west end with 3 windows is by
Butterfield. C15 two-light clerestory windows replacing original.
South aisle of 2 bays incorporating some Roman brick, 3-light
windows with pointed segmental heads. Late C15 square headed door
at west end of south wall. North side formerly had attached
structure, apparently not an aisle, but also unlikely to be
cloister of nunnery. North wall of nave has, beyond east end,
lower section of elaborate late C12 doorway, with 4 shafts and
early stiff leaf foliage capitals on internal side. Central tower
of 2 stages, with lancets at bell stage and plain parapet.
Entrance now in south gable of south transept.
Interior: Nave of 5 roof bays, late C15-C16 moulded tie-beam
trusses with open panelwork and carved wall brackets. South
arcade inserted in C12 walls in C15, 2 bays. Three blocked C12
clerestory windows over. Pier has hollow mouldings between 4
shafts, and arches of 2 hollow chamfers. Arch at west end.
Crossing arches on triple keeled shafts, 3 chamfered orders. South
west pier has late medieval panel embellishment. C12 pier for a
north nave opening excavated in wall, possibly a pre-Norman shaft
base. Chancel has 3 roof bays, C19 trussed rafters with inclined
ashlars, and chamfered ties. Embrasures to windows and rere-
arches. Windows on north side partially blocked probably to
accommodate lean-to or chapel now demolished. North priest's door.
Elaborate moulded recess adjacent, with crocketed gable and
pinnacles, known as the abbesses' seat, possibly an Easter
sepulchre. Credence table on south side supported on corbels in
form of angels holding shields inscribed DD, from east window,
reset C19. East end panelled with marble divided by strips of red,
blue and yellow tiles, hidden. South aisle arch to transept has
capital embellished with leaf motif as arcade. Small piscina with
credence shelf. Stoup by west door, now containing a medieval
queen's head. Transepts have C16 plaster vaults with moulded
timber members, angels at junction of ribs with wall plates. C13
arch to east chapel in north transept. This chapel, the Jesus
Chapel, has C13 quadripartite vault of ribs on stiff leaf capitals.
Large double piscina. Above entrance arch, a doorway to space over
vault. Fittings: Font: In south aisle, C12 Purbeck marble, a
tapered square with shallow blind arcading, reset on C15 arcaded
limestone base. Pulpit, Cl9 oak on stone base. Second font at
west end a truncated octagonal shaft with string and triangular
fillets to square base. Medieval. Chancel screen C15 or early
C16, reset in 1907, oak. Large 5-light bays with tracery and
central pair of doors. Fixings for absent rood over. Similar C19
screen to north transept. Choir stalls by Butterfield, boldly
panelled, and similar altar rail. Organ with elaborate case, from
St Edmund's church Salisbury. Furniture: Small C17 chest in
chancel. Fine late C16 table on thick twisted balusters, in south
transept. At west end, glass case containing fragments of a fine
Anglo Saxon double wheel headed cross carved on face and edge with
a double strand interlace, and fragment of a second cross (?).
Glass: North nave window contains C14 grisaille work, and below,
the upper part of a fine C15 Queen of Heaven in an architectural
frame. Early C20 glass in 2 south lancets. Monuments: In
chancel: eleven wall monuments, including (a) A Delft tile on
marble inscribed to Lucretia Corfe, died 1755; (b) Carved
moulded panel to John Thurloe, etc erected 1683; (c) An
alabaster aedicule to George Blake, died 1909, and various late C19
and C20 marble and gilt monuments to the Antrobus family. One
marble Fowle monument of 1916. In north transept: (a) A tablet by
Osmund, white marble on grey. A sarcophagus with gabled top to
Henry Selfe, died 1831. (b) Tablet, also by Osmund, marble
drapery on black. To Henry Long, died 1843, and Anne. South
Transept: Two war memorials and three C19 brasses, (a) By
Osmund, white marble sarcophagus on black, to Elizabeth Ouseley and
Susan Palmer, children killed at Lucknow, 1857; (b) White stone
tablet to John Bundy, died 1794, and wife; (c) White marble on
black, by Soper, to Edward Flower, died 1911. Brass: In chancel a
small brass to Edithe Matyn 1470. Hatchment: In nave, dexter
black, motto DEI MEMOR GRATUS AMICI, for Sir Edmund Antrobus, died
1870. Benefaction board recording four benefactions of 1677, 1708,
1725 and 1828 including the founding of the Free Grammar School
1677. Clock: In south transept. C15, with twin drums, the
original verge and foliate escapement replaced. Amesbury Abbey was
significant in Arthurian legend, becoming an important late Anglo
Saxon nunnery, refounded as a double house under the Order of
Fontevrault in 1170 and later, the centre for a school of
manuscript illumination (c.f. Amesbury Psalter, mid C13). The
precise position and layout of the monastic house is not known.
(Pevsner: Buildings of England, WILTSHIRE; Notes by Margaret
Tomlinson for VCH; Lt Col Chettle, The English Houses of the order
of Fontevrault, Downside Review, LX, 1942; Amesbury Gleanings in
W.A.N.H.S. 1876; Short Guide to the Abbey Church of St Mary & St
Melor, 1969)


Listing NGR: SU1517641432

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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