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© Mr Michael J Tuck

IoE Number: 470377
Location: ST MARYS CENTRE, ST MARYS HILL (south side)
Photographer: Mr Michael J Tuck
Date Photographed: 22 May 2001
Date listed: 28 July 1955
Date of last amendment: 06 August 1998
Grade I

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

CHESTER CITY (IM) SJ4065NE ST MARY'S HILL 595-1/6/338 (South side) 28/07/55 St Mary's Centre (Formerly Listed as: ST MARY'S HILL Church of St Mary-on-the-Hill (no longer in ecclesiastical use)) GV I Parish church now educational centre. C14 and c1500, restored 1861-2 by James Harrison and 1890-92 by JP Seddon and (without deconsecration) converted to an educational centre 1970s by County Architect's Department for Cheshire County Council. Red sandstone with low-pitch roofs. PLAN: 3-stage west tower, 3-bay aisled nave continuous with chancel and aisled chapels, north porch and 2-storey south porch, now office. EXTERIOR: the tower has diagonal west buttresses, west door c1500 with arch of 2 stones with quatrefoils above, quatrefoil band beneath 4-light Y-tracery west window, stringcourse with Tudor roses beneath paired Y-tracery bell-openings under 4-centre arch; the top stage, 1861-2 by James Harrison, has gargoyles, quatrefoil band beneath panel-and-quatrefoil pierced crenellation with eight pinnacles. Refaced west end to south aisle has a 2-light Y-tracery window. 3 steps to framed and boarded oak door in south porch; band with carved-head stops; diagonal buttresses; upper window of 3 trefoil-headed lights. 3 traceried 3-light windows to south aisle, earlier than tower. 6 simple 3-light clerestory windows. The south-east chapel has 3 panel-traceried 3-light windows, a low-level boarded oak priest's door in a moulded archway and, in its east end, a 4-light panel-tracery window; the chapel dates from 1443 but was rebuilt in 1693. The rectangular buttress between chapel and east end of nave is capped with a medieval carving of the winged lion of St Mark. The east window of the nave is 5-light with panel tracery under a 2-centre arch. The north-east chapel has a 5-light panel-tracery east window under a 4-centre arch. The north side of chapel and nave aisle has five panel-tracery 4-light windows under 4-centre arches. The north clerestory has 6 lattice-leaded windows of 3 trefoil-headed lights under depressed arches. The north porch rebuilt in 1892 by JP Seddon at the expense of Cheshire freemasons has octagonal buttresses, moulded archway, crenellated gable and, in the unaltered back wall, double boarded doors of oak; small commemorative window 1892 by Shrigley and Hunt. INTERIOR: full-height tower arch, probably C14; 3-bay nave arcades have octagonal piers and twice-cambered 4-centre arches; fine camber-beam roof of 40 panels per bay with some 120 bosses, gilt and painted 1970s. The aisles have rebuilt camber-beam roofs. 2 steps under C14 chancel arch, dying into responds which slope outward as they rise. Chancel has 4-bay arched wooden roof, apparently rebuilt in restoration; a broad 4-centre arch to north chapel and a slightly-pointed arch to south chapel; plastered east wall. The chapels have probably rebuilt oak roofs. STAINED GLASS: the east window 1857 by Wailes in memory of WH Massie, Rector; east window of north chapel, damaged, has 2 lights of Crimean War Memorial c1856 by Hedgeland; north-west window of the 4 Evangelists in memory of TB Oldfield, d.1858; the east window of the south chapel has fragments of late Perpendicular glass in tracery of E window, with memorial glass 1865 by H Hughes to Mary L Barton; the south windows have memorial glass to Georgina Burkridge Roberts, Thomas Mawden, rector, and his sons, and wife, 1850 by Wailes, and to John Hill and family. MONUMENTS: amongst some 72 monuments and cenotaphs from the C16 to early C20, the following are of individual note: Table tomb to Thomas Gamul, d.1616 and his wife who erected it with recumbent effigies attended by their children; alabaster monument to Phillip Oldfield, with recumbent effigy; C17 wall monuments to Randle Holme II and family, Randle Holme III and IV; a Gothic Revival tablet by James Harrison to William Currie, d.1834; Ralph Worsley, Sergeant of the Crown and Warden of the Lions, Lionesses and Leopards in the Tower of London, d.1573. Since the early Middle Ages St Mary's Church was associated with Chester Castle and subsequently with the County Gaol. (The Buildings of England: Hubbard E & Pevsner N: Cheshire: Harmondsworth: 1971-: 151-2).

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