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© Mr John Chester

IoE Number: 437126
Photographer: Mr John Chester
Date Photographed: 11 November 2004
Date listed: 19 April 1961
Date of last amendment: 27 October 1987
Grade I

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ST4715NORTON SUB HAMDON CPCHURCH LANE (End)9/184Church of St. Mary the Virgin(formerly listed as Church of St.Mary)19.4.61

ST4715 NORTON SUB HAMDON CP CHURCH LANE (End) 9/184 Church of St. Mary the Virgin (formerly listed as Church of St. Mary) 19.4.61 GV I Anglican parish church. C13 origins, but rebuilt c1500-1510; some restoration by Henry Wilson 1894 and 1904. Ham stone ashlar; stone slate roof between stepped coped gables having cross finials, behind parapets. Four-cell plan of 2-bay chancel, 4-bay nave and 5-bay aisles, flanking chancel at east end, with west tower and south porch; the roof continuous over nave and aisles. Chancel has double plinth, low plain parapet with string and moulded coping, angled corner buttresses: east window 4-light sub- arcuated tracery with traceried transome in hollowed arched recess, square- stop label; small 3-light windows to match in east bay each side, and on south side a near-triangular arched moulded doorway with carved spandrils under arched label. North aisle has double plinth, slightly higher, with string and battlemented parapets; angled corner and bay buttresses; east window 3-light matching that of chancel nearby; the 5 side windows all 4- light sub-arcuated tracery in hollowed arched recesses with labels, that to bay 4 having higher cill to accommodate a moulded 4-centre arched doorway with arched label, now blocked; west end largely obscured by the tower. South aisle to match, but with added south porch, possibly later C16 or even C18: angled corner buttresses, stone slab roof over internal rib vault; outer pointed arch with full internal order but stilted segmental pointed outer order, and above a sundial dated 1711; inner arch C16 style moulded pointed. Tower, damaged by lightning and fire 1894, immediately restored: 5 stages, with double plinth, offset corner buttresses, dividing strings, battlemented parapet with pairs corner pinnacles extended from buttresses, and central paired pinnacles corbelled off gargoyles; lowest stage has moulded pointed arched west doorway in rectangular recess, with carved spandrils and flanking diagonally set pilasters, the doors restored and coloured 1981; above a panel of 5 quatrefoils; west window occupies stage 2 and half of stage 3, a 4-light to match east end, stages 1, 2 and 3 plain on sides except for canopied statue niches set on the south side strings; to head of stage 3, cutting into stage 4, small rectangular windows in recesses to north and south; to all faces of upper stage 4 and stage 5, tall 2-light traceried and transomed windows in hollowed recesses, the stone frets distinctly Art Nouveau: hexagonal plan full-height stair turret on north east corner. Inside, apparently little alteration other than stripping of plaster and making good damage after partial fall of tower: chancel virtually continuous with nave, with elliptical vault ceiling having moulded ribs to plaster panels, carved bosses and small angel corbels: aisles have angled timber panelled roofs; chancel arch simple attached full-height sideshaft and arch following profile of ceiling; panelled tower arch also almost full height; side arcades 4-shaft and hollow columned, again unusually high, but the arches off chancel lower. East wall of chancel has 2 canopied niches, and a cusped ogee-arched piscina; late C19 3-panel stone reredos, C20 altar table and rails; choir stalls late C19, as are low ironwork open chancel screen and traceried stone screens to aisles; 1894 Art Nouveau screen across tower, by Wilson, who designed the magnificent but widly inappropriate alabaster font, a circular tub with twist fluting set on square base with large fish to each corner, lid with small tabernacle, in 1904; earlier plain octagonal font by south aisle screen: pews all C19. Three memorial brasses in tower to Benjamin Collins, died 1662, Henry Burchall died 1770, and Elizabeth Burchell, died 1805. Stained glass includes early C16 fragments in tracery; East window by Wailes, 1861, north chancel window by A.K Nicholson 1922, East window south chapel by Wilson 1904, and Art-Nouveau style leading to west window. (Pevsner N, Buildings of England, South and West somerset, 1958; Leaflet in church, Unpublished and undated; frisk C, Norton sub Hamdon, 1898).

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