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© Mr Robert Hornyold-Strickland

IoE Number: 267999
Location: ABBEY CHURCH OF ST GREGORY THE GREAT, DOWNSIDE ABBEY AND SCHOOL, FOSSE WAY (west side)
  STRATTON ON THE FOSSE, MENDIP, SOMERSET
Photographer: Mr Robert Hornyold-Strickland
Date Photographed: 29 November 2005
Date listed: 25 June 1986
Date of last amendment: 23 August 1989
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.

In the entry for: STRATTON-ON-THE-FOSSE FOSSE WAY ST 65 SE (west side) 13/187 Abbey Church of St Gregory The Great, Downside Abbey and School GV I The address shall be amended to read: ST 65 SE FOSSE WAY 5/187 (west side) Abbey Church of St Gregory The Great, Downside Abbey - I and the description shall be amended to read Abbey church and north cloister. Commenced 1873 and as yet unfinished (west front and two bays of nave are missing). Main building periods 1872-82, c.1890, 1901-5, 1911-12, c.1923-25, 1938. Architects in date order, A M Dunn and E J Hansom, Thomas Garner, F.A.Walters, Sir G.G.Scott. Interior fittings and furnishings by the principal architects and Sir J N Comper. Bath stone ashlar with red plain tile roofs, the east end chapels roofed very conspicuously in copper sheeting. Abbey church consists of nave with blind aisles and gallery chapels to south over north cloisters, by Sir G G Scott 1922-25 incorporating temporary west front, in simplified early Perpendicular style. Transepts with chapels opened 1882 and base of tower 1884, by A Dunn and E Hansom in early English style; tower finished 1938 by Scott in Somerset Perpendicular. Choir 1902-05 by Thomas Garner in early Decorated style; east end, ambulatory and radiating chapels with large projecting Lady Chapel opened 1888 by Dunn and Hansom in a French C13 style. Of the earliest work by Dunn and Hansom the 2 bays transepts have a rose window to the north, south transept with tower on south side; tower with much emphasised doorway and with gabled canopy with figures; with Scott's addition it rises to about 166 ft, corner buttresses, pinnacles, 3 tiers of 2-light bell-chamber windows. Eight bay nave with triforium and clerestorey, pierced parapet, 2-light windows, rich tracery, west end (unfinished) with triple lancets. Chancel of 7 bays, with tall transomed clerestory windows, pierced parapets, flying buttresses, massive end pinnacles, 3-light east window. Chapels at east end with much emphasis on facetted roofs. Interior rib-vaulted in C13 French style; nave with tall Perpendicular arcades; triforium in Decorated style; richly fitted and furnished with much high quality work including altars, carvings, tombs, paintings and stained glass; canopied tomb of Cardinal Gasquet (d.1929) by Sir G G Scott, effigy by E Carter Preston. The Lady Chapel was decorated, glazed, paved and screened by Comper. 'The most splendid demonstration of the renaissance of Roman Catholicism in England' (Pevsner) it was built for a community of Benedictine monks, founded at St Gregory's monastery at Douai in Flanders in 1607, house re-established in England 1795, present estate purchased 1813. References: Pevsner. Buildings of England, North Somerset and Bristol 1958 and for full description of church: James, Dom Augustine. The Story of Downside Abbey Church 1961. Fitzgerald-Lombard, Dom C.A guide to the Church of St Gregory the Great Downside Abbey, 1981. ------------------------------------ STRATTON-ON-THE-FOSSE CP FOSSE WAY (West side) ST65SE 13/187 Abbey Church of St. Gregory The Great, Downside Abbey and School - GV I Abbey Church, and north cloister. Work commenced 1872 and as yet unfinished, viz. west end of Abbey Church. For community of Benedictine monks, founded at St Gregory's Monastery at Douai in northern France, 1601; house re-established in England 1795, present estate purchased 1814. Bath and Doulting stones, lias; tile and copper sheeting roofs. Abbey Church consists of nave with blind aisles and gallery chapels to south over north cloister, by Sir G G Scott c1923-25 incorporating temporary west front, in simplified French Perpendicular style. Transepts with chapels and base of tower c1882, by A Dunn and C Hansom in rich Early English style; tower finished 1938 by Scott in Somerset Perpendicular. Chancel c1901-05 by Thomas Garner in Early Perpendicular style; east end, ambulatory and radiating chapels with large projecting Lady Chapel c1890 by Dunn and Hansom in French Perpendicular style. Of the earliest work by Dunn and Hansom the 2 bay transepts have a rose window to the north, south transept with tower on south side; tower with much emphasised door opening, gabled canopy with figures; with Scott's addition it rises to about 160 m, corner buttresses, pinnacles, 3 tiers of 2-light bell-chamber windows. Eight bay nave with triforium and clerestory, pierced parapet, 2-light windows, rich tracery, west end with triple lancets. Chancel of 7 bays, with tall transomed clerestory windows, pierced parapets, flying buttresses, massive end pinnacles, 3-light east window. Chapels at east end with much emphasis on facetted roofs. Interior rib-vaulted in C13 French style; nave with tall Perpendicular arcades; triforium in Decorated style; richly fitted and furnished with much high quality work including carvings, tombs, paintings and stained glass; tomb and recess by Sir Ninian Compter. (Pevsner, Buildings of England, North Somerset and Bristol, 1958; Fitzgerald-Lombard Dom C, A Guide to the Church of St Gregory the Great Downside Abbey, 1981).

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