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©  Helmut Schulenburg

IoE Number: 366325
Location: CHURCH OF HOLY TRINITY, OLD TOWN (east side)
Photographer: Helmut Schulenburg
Date Photographed: 22 February 2005
Date listed: 25 October 1951
Date of last amendment: 25 October 1951
Grade I

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STRATFORD-UPON-AVONSP2054OLD TOWN604-1/6/149(East side)

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON SP2054 OLD TOWN 604-1/6/149 (East side) 25/10/51 Church of Holy Trinity GV I Church; collegiate status from 1415 to 1547. Anglo-Saxon origins; possibly C12 work in early C13 tower, remodelled in early C14; early C13 transepts; early to mid C14 nave arcades and aisles; 1580s chancel; 1590s nave clerestory and north porch; 1763 spire by W Hiorn of Warwick; restored by William Butterfield, 1850s; by Bodley and Garner, 1888-92 and 1898. MATERIALS: squared stone with ashlar dressings; C15 work ashlar; lead roofs. PLAN: cruciform: 5-bay chancel, crossing steeple and 2-bay transepts; 6-bay nave with lean-to aisles. EXTERIOR: chancel has moulded plinth and is articulated by offset buttresses with diagonal pinnacles, diagonal buttresses have tall pinnacles; sill course to 7-light east window and 4-light transomed side windows, all with Perpendicular tracery and hoods with insect-form stops and crockets; cornice with crenellated and traceried parapet and coping; Tudor-headed side entrance with crocketed hood and restored tracery to C15 door. Tower has clasping buttresses, offset over lower stage and string course; small ?C12 round-headed windows to lower stage, C13 two-light bell openings to middle stage, and C14 rose windows to top stage; top corbel table and crenellated parapet with angle pinnacles; octagonal spire has 3 tiers of arched openings. Transepts have shallow buttresses and lancets; coped parapets and gables and angle pinnacles; 5-light north window with flowing tracery with spherical triangle window over, similar south window with Decorated tracery; later west entrances; south east lateral stack with C19 mural monument. North aisle has plinth, offset buttresses and cornice with gargoyles and coped parapet; 3-light windows with varied Decorated tracery shewing progression in date from east to west; window to west interrupted by 2-storey porch: offset diagonal buttresses with pinnacles flank entrance with continuous mouldings to arch and C17 battened and studded doors; 3-light window above has flanking niches; crenellated coping and gable cross; small cusped lights with crocketed hoods to sides. South aisle is similar, but buttresses have large pinnacles, octagonal turret behind diagonal buttress to angle, and cylindrical water spouts to cornice. 3-light windows with Decorated tracery, but east end has window with 3-centred head and ogee-headed lights and extra 2-light plate tracery window because of different alignment of transepts and chancel; flowing tracery to west window; entrance with continuous moulding and C19 doors, end bay to left has C18 mural monuments. Clerestory has cornice and crenellated coping and parapet; two 3-light windows with Perpendicular tracery to each bay; large 9-light transomed west window has inset niches over entrance with continuous moulding and C15 traceried doors. Several C18 rainwater heads. INTERIOR: chancel has hammer-beam roof on corbel heads and angels with shields; shallow crocketed niches between windows, niches flanking east window have insects to bases and crocketed gables and pinnacles, C19 statues; north door has crocketed hood and corbels with St Christopher and the Resurrection. Sedilia and piscina with angel busts to seats and nodding ogee heads. Crossing has C19 rib vault. Nave has arcades on hexagonal piers, wall shafts on angel corbels above are flanked by panelling to spandrels; brattished corbels to C15 roof: traceried arch braces to moulded principals and tie beams, moulded members to panelled ceiling with bosses. North aisle has restored roof, entrance with C15 doors with linenfold and traceried panels and C13 sanctuary knocker, and smaller entrance to upper floor of porch; porch has rib vault on angel corbels, with Trinity boss, panelled walls, mutilated water stoups; upper floor with fireplace and moulded beams. South aisle has roof with C14 roof with moulded beams on corbel heads; heavily restored sedilia and piscina for chapel of the College. FITTINGS: chancel has heavily restored c1500 rood screen with tracery heads to bays, vine-trail cornice and brattishing; c1500 stalls and fronts, with richly carved misericords with domestic scenes, mythical beasts etc; C19 altar with mensa from medieval altar and traceried front and reredos; C19 brass altar rail; C15 mutilated font returned to church in 1823. Crossing has C19 rib vault; 1720 candelabrum; partly C15 north transept screen. South transept with C20 fittings to chapel of St Peter. Nave has organ case over crossing arch by Bodley and Garner, 1889; dark marble pulpit, 1901, with white figures to ogee-headed niches and stair balustrade; C19 Perpendicular style font with rich traceried panels, modelled on the original; C18 and 1916 sword rests to front pews; 1714 Royal arms in rich painted frame, AR replaced by GR. North aisle has C19 screen to Clopton Chapel with enriched arched heads, vine-trail and brattishing. MEMORIALS: chancel: Dean Balshall, d.1491, but earlier, chest tomb with canopied relief scenes of Passion and Resurrection to sides, top has indents for brasses; John Coombe, d.1614, by Gerard Johnson (Janssen), altar tomb to left of altar, recumbent effigy under round arch with strapwork frame to inscription panel, flanking Corinthian columns, cornice and obelisks flanking armorial panel; William Shakespeare, d.1616, by Gerard Johnson, mural tablet with inscription below round-headed niche with front-facing demi-figure, flanking Corinthian columns and entablature with armorial panel above; Judith Combe, d.1649, and Richard Coombe, by Thomas Stanton, mural tablet similar to Shakespeare's, 2 busts holding hands, 3 armorial cartouches over segmental pediment; James Kendall, d.1758, by Rysbrack, inscribed plinth supporting bust on pedestal with flanking putti; John Dennis, d.1838, by Richard Westmacott, mural tablet with kneeling woman; original floor slab to W Shakespeare, those to members of his family recut 1844. South transept: Richard Hill, d.1593, altar tomb with fluted pilasters flanking round-headed recess, inscription in Hebrew, Greek, Latin and English. Clopton Chapel: several monuments including cenotaph to Hugh Clopton, d.1496, chest tomb with 4-centred arch set into arcade, with entrance arch to side, fluted piers, Tudor flower cornice and brattishing, arms of Clopton, London and Wool Staplers' Co; William Clopton, d.1592, and Agnes, chest tomb with balusters between armorial bearings, black letter to cornice and 2 recumbent effigies, panel with children and armorial panel to wall above; George Carew, Lord Totnes, d.1629, and Joyce, d.1635, altar tomb with relief of guns, barrels and flags, 2 recumbent effigies under coffered round arch with flanking Corinthian columns supporting angels, inscription panels, shields and figures to back, and return trophies, armorial bearing above; Amy Smith, d.1626, waiting gentlewoman to Lady Clopton, mural tablet with relief kneeling woman. Many other good C17, C18 and C19 wall tablets and floor slabs, eg wall tablet to north transept: Thomas Harbert, carver, d.1738, with carving of his tools. Stained glass: mostly C19 and early C20, but some medieval fragments to north aisle; Kempe windows to south aisle and north aisle west window. A church with good C15 work, misericords and monuments; of international importance for its Shakespearian connections, especially his tomb. (Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Warwickshire: Harmondsworth: 1966-: 411-4; VCH (offprint): Styles P: The Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon and the Parish of Alveston: London: 1946-: 53-60; Fogg N: Stratford-upon-Avon: Portrait of a Town: Chichester: 1986-: 1-7 ETC; The Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon: Stratford-upon-Avon: 1988-).

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