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© Mr Jeffery Bartlett OBE, ARPS

IoE Number: 315822
Photographer: Mr Jeffery Bartlett OBE, ARPS
Date Photographed: 19 July 2000
Date listed: 20 December 1960
Date of last amendment: 20 December 1960
Grade II*

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GRITTLETON LEIGH DELAMERE ST 87 NE 7/11 Church of St Margaret 20.12.60 GV II* Anglican parish church, 1846 by James Thomson for Joseph Neeld of Grittleton. Squared ashlar block with stone slate roofs, coped gables, cross finials and large ashlar bellcote over chancel arch. Nave, shorter aisles, south porch, north transept and chancel. Generally Decorated Gothic in style, but with personal variations. Moulded plinth right around, diagonal buttresses at angles, except for nave west end which has clasping buttresses. Windows generally pointed, deep-set with hoodmoulds and carved stops. Large 5-light west window, 2-light west windows and 3-light east windows to aisles. South aisle has flat-headed Perpendicular style 2-light each side of projecting gabled porch with ornate small statue niche over pointed-arched doorway. North aisle has central projecting transept with ashlar semi-circular apse to north and stone gablet at eaves each side over curved triangular light. Long chancel has 2 lancets each side, those to south with tiny quatrefoil lights above. Roundel east window set high in plain wall. Plinth incorporates tomb slabs of two C17 vicars, P. Kingsman and R. Latymer. Over chancel arch is remarkable bell-turret, a near copy of the C14 original, reused on the school at Sevington (q.v.). Diagonally-set square with pointed arches, row of five shafts at angles and short stone spire with Evangelist symbols over angles. Interior: ashlar, open wagon roofs with carved bosses and ribbs rising from small carved corbels. Curious 3-bay arcades with circular piers, 2-chamfer round arches and no capital between, merely a stylised leaf, the motif copied by Thomson from the south aisle of the original church. The north arcade is infilled with round-arched arcading on ashlar base to screen north aisle, intended as Neeld family chapel, 3-arch infill each side, 2-arch to centre. Nave has ovolo-moulded course over arcades and some painted decoration to roof. At west end, blank north and south walls have affixed six early C18-style monuments to the Browning family, dated 1751 to 1791. West window has apocalyptically- coloured Crucifixion window by T. Wilmshurst. Wilmshurst glass to end windows of aisles also. North aisle is more elaborately treated, with painted decoration to roof, encaustic-tiled floor and in centre of north wall a projecting stone organ-loft corbelled-out on a short circular column to half-hexagonal splay ornamented with carved arms and painted decoration. Blank Gothic arcading above and decorative pierced timber screens each side of carved and painted organ case. Pointed-arched doorways each side of organ- loft, one giving access to vestry, one to loft. Vestry has apse to north, function uncertain. Family pew at east end facing south, with large Gothic memorial to Joseph Neeld (died 1856) behind. At west end, on north wall similar marble and alabaster Gothic memorials to Sir John Neeld Bt (died 1891) and Sir Algernon Neeld Bt (died 1900). South aisle has west end memorials to J. Browning (died 1706) and J. Browning (died 1824), signed T. King. East end plaque to E. Chiver died 1653. Stone octagonal font and stone almsbox on Gothic column. In nave, former lectern, now pulpit has pierced stone balustrading on 3 sides. Original pulpit is in Grittleton Church (q.v.). Two-chamfered chancel arch with pierced stone rail, even the gate of ashlar. Chancel has painted decoration to roof and window surrounds, and is divided into unfurnished choir with fine encaustic tile floor and elaborate sanctuary dramatically lit by single east roundel set high with dove in yellow clouds. Two marble steps to sanctuary and encaustic tile floor. Aumbry and piscina with painted decoration. East wall has ornate Gothic reredos of 7 canopied niches, the broader centre niche with ogee half-dome. Gothic blank arcading below and lettered frieze above. Niches have five statues by E.H. Baily after originals by B. Thorwaldsen, Christ in centre and Evangelists each side. Outer niches have Commandments painted. Blank arcading has centre panel with Lords Prayer. Above reredos entire wall is covered in painted decoration, possibly on canvas. There is said to be a vaulted crypt under the north aisle. James Thomson described his work as restoration but there are no old features, bellcote, arcades, chancel arch and possibly the Perpendicular detail of south aisle windows are copied. The building is rather of significance as a small scale and highly elaborate estate church of the pre-archaeological phase of the Gothic revival, notable for the use of the north aisle as a family pew, the theatrical use of light and colour in the chancel and the spectacular colouring of T. Wilmshurst's west window. (Builder 6, 1848, 377-8; N. Pevsner, Wiltshire, 1975, 294-5; M. Harrison, Victorian Stained Glass, 1980, Plate 6; Wiltshire Record Office, 1620/43 has designs, and drawings of old church by Thomson 1845)

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