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© Mr Howard W Hilton ARPS

IoE Number: 56928
Photographer: Mr Howard W Hilton ARPS
Date Photographed: 17 June 2000
Date listed: 12 January 1967
Date of last amendment: 12 January 1967
Grade I

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ACTON C.P.MONKS LANESJ 65 SWChurch of St.Mary the4/16Virgin

ACTON C.P. MONKS LANE SJ 65 SW Church of St.Mary the 4/16 Virgin 12 January 1967 I GV Parish church. Lower section of west tower, including three internal arches C13, north aisle windows C14, elsewhere the church has a mainly C15 appearance. Restorations in C17 and C18 also in 1897-8 by Paley and Austin (Pevsner). Red sandstone with lead roof. Single bay beneath tower, 4-bay nave and 3-bay chancel. The lower section of the square west tower has a pair of oak doors, each of three vertical panels, hung on decorative wrought-iron strap hinges in a Gothic headed opening. The angles of the tower have clasping buttresses and in the south-west buttress a small door gives access to the bell-chamber steps. The windows in the lower part of the tower are narrow lancets but the top of the tower fell in 1757 and the intersecting tracery of the bell-chamber windows and blind arcading, in early Gothic Revival Style, date from the restoration by William Baker of Audlem. There are angle buttresses to the aisles and buttresses between windows. The chancel and south aisle windows are Perpendicular whereas the north aisle windows have C14 cusped intersecting tracery. The clerestory windows are Gothic Revival and date from the 1879 restoration. The south nave entrance is surmounted by an ogee arch, in C14 style, but the north nave entrance opposite appears to be C13. The chancel open-work parapet and gable cresting is a striking C17 restoration and the nave solid parapet, with crocketed pinnacles, set at an angle and supported by corbels with faces, is also unusual. A recess in the north chancel wall contains a headstone of a parishioner from Cholmondeston, dated 1671. Interior: The west tower entrance leads into a narthex flanked and fronted by C13 tower arches. The south arch leads to a chapel, the north to the vestry and east, which has a small dog tooth mould to north capital, leads to the nave. The nave has 4-bay arcades with octagonal C13 piers and late C19 capitals. The chancel arch, which is moulded to floor level, is C14. The chancel floor is stone slabs set in a diamond pattern. The reredos has the Ten Commandments north of the altar and the Lord's Prayer and Creed south. The Communion Rail has splat balusters and there is Jacobean Oak dado panelling, once part of a rood screen, between the communion rail and the choir; this has a gate with arch and strapwork motifs. The C19 choir stalls are in matching Jacobean style. The chancel stained glass east window is of 1886 by Kempe. In the south wall of the chancel there is a single sedile with cusped ogee arch. The carved oak pulpit, on stone base, and oak eagle lectern are C19. In the north aisle there is a recessed tomb-chest, with elaborate stone panelling and shields, and an alabaster effigy of Sir William Mainwaring, who died 1399. In the south aisle there is a black, white and grey marble tomb chest supporting recumbent effigies of Sir Richard Wilbraham, who died 1643, and his wife who died 1660. There is a good tablet memorial to Mary Wilbraham, who died 1632, in the south-west chapel. There are a number of good wall memorials in the chancel. The upper section of the round font, at the west end of the nave, is Norman. It has alternate flower and figure decorations. There are also a number of carved Norman stones at the east end of the south aisle. The nave has a late C19 barrel ceiling the trusses of which have short posts off level tie beams with end brackets and stone corbels. The chancel ceiling is sinmilar to that of the nave but has more decorative trusses.

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