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© Mr Graham Slocombe LRPS

IoE Number: 263125
Location: CHURCH OF SAINT MARY THE VIRGIN,
  HUISH EPISCOPI, SOUTH SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Photographer: Mr Graham Slocombe LRPS
Date Photographed: 19 October 1999
Date listed: 17 April 1959
Date of last amendment: 07 February 1986
Grade I

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HUISH EPISCOPI CP - ST4226 11/60 Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (previously listed as Church of St Mary the Virgin) 17.4.59 GV I Anglican Parish Church. C12 origins, mostly rebuilt in C14, C15 and C16; restored by Benjamin Ferrey in 1872-73. Local lias stone cut and squared, Ham stone dressings; Welsh slate roof between stepped coped gables to chancei, otherwise sheet lead roofs behind parapets. Four-cell plan with additions: 3-bay chancel, 4-bay nave, single bay north transept, 2-bay south chapel, with south porch, north vestry, and western tower. Chancel built C14 but much restored: angled corner and bay buttresses; 3-light traceried window under arched label with square stops; on south side a 3-light and a 2-light flat headed window, the former traceried; between them a plain chamfered pointed arched doorway, without label; north wall has 3-light ogee-traceried flat headed window with headstop label, a projection to house the organ, and a C19 2-light window to match. North transept also C14, with plinth, no buttresses; the 3-light north window a rural curvilinear traceried example with arched headstop label, with C15 traceried windows in hollow arched recessed to east and west walls, under square-stopped arched labels. Nave has C13 fragments, but mostly C14/C15; bay buttresses; north wall has two 3-light C15 windows with arched, square-stopped labels, and projecting between them the C19 vestry with 2- light rectangular mullioned and transomed window having cusped toplights; one window in south wall to match those in north. South chapel totally C15; angled corner and bay buttresses, string course, battlemented parapets; three 4-light windows, of which the east and first south are sub-arcuated traceried, set in hollowed recesses, c1490, the third later in style, under segmental pointed arch. South porch, adjoining chapel, probably C14i plain chamfered arch to outside, under flat plain parapet; inside arched recess in west wall, to hold parish bier; in east wall a trefoiled niche; inner wall has elaborate C12 doorway, heavily discoloured by fire, with double-order chevroned semi-circular arch under dog-tooth label, plain tympanum with some diaper work, lower portion triangular voussoired; outer shafts chevron, middle shafts plain and tympanum shafts with twist moulds, bases and carved caps; door possibly C14: porch originally 2-storey, stair remains. Tower one of the finest in Somerset, c1500: 4 stages, pairs of corner buttresses with offsets each stage ending in pinnacles stage 4; deep moulded string courses, each with quatrefoil panel bands, lowest having grotesques, elaborate open traceried crown with composite corner and single central pinnacles; north east octagonal stair turret to full height: west door has moulded pointed arch set in rectangular recess, with floriated spandrils, side diagonal shafts with pinnacles, and quatrefoil panel over, otherwise stage 1 plain: stage 2 has 4-light sub arcuated west window with transome, set in deep recess; on north single canopied recess, on south two; stage 3 has 3- light traceried windows with transomes and ornate pierced stone baffles, flanked by narrow canopied recesses - window only to north; stage 4 pairs of 2-light transomed windows with flanking pinnacled shafts. Inside chancel mostly C19 character; chancel arch, wide and almost triangular, probably C15. Nave has rib and panel wagon ceiling with C19 colouring, arches match chancel arch, presumably C14. South chapel has late C15 moulded rib and panel ceiling; in west wall small C14 roundel with quatrefoil and small figure of Christ. Tall panelled tower arch, filled with fine C15 timber screen removed from Enmore in 1873. Fittings include elaborately panelled pulpit dated 1625, on C19 stone base; C17 altar table in south chapel; octagonal its font on panelled coved shaft, with quatrefoil panels. Stained glass in east window of south chapel by Burne-Jones and Morris, 1899. First mention of church 1179; dedicated, possibly after fire, 1232. (VCH, Vol III, 1974; Pevsner N, Buildings of England, South and West Somerset, 1958; Pitman, Church Guide, undated).

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