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Church of St Osmond

A Grade II* Listed Building in Evershot, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8384 / 50°50'18"N

Longitude: -2.6085 / 2°36'30"W

OS Eastings: 357250

OS Northings: 104500

OS Grid: ST572045

Mapcode National: GBR MQ.WDZ6

Mapcode Global: FRA 56FW.7MQ

Entry Name: Church of St Osmond

Listing Date: 11 November 1966

Last Amended: 18 October 2013

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1153641

English Heritage Legacy ID: 105771

Location: Evershot, West Dorset, Dorset, DT2

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset

Civil Parish: Evershot

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Evershot St Osmund

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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An Anglican parish church, originating in the C12, with some work of this date and the C15, largely rebuilt in the mid-C19 by Robert H Shout (d.1884) of Sherborne.


An Anglican parish church, originating in the C12, with some work of this date and the C15, largely rebuilt in the mid-C19 by Robert H Shout (1823-1882) of Sherborne.

MATERIALS: Ham stone plinth, below coursed, dressed-stone walls with Ham stone ashlar quoins. The roofs are tiled, with stone gable-copings and C19 crosses at the apices.

PLAN: nave and chancel, with north and south aisles to the nave, and vestry to the east end of the north aisle, against the chancel; tower to the west, with the aisles running across it.

EXTERIOR: west tower is in three stages, the lowest two mainly dating from the C15; the diagonal buttresses and bell-chamber are mid-C19. The mid-C19 west doorway has moulded jambs, a depressed-arch head, and label stops. Above is a window of panel tracery, also mid-C19. The bell-stage windows with stone tracery, are reset C15 work. The stair-turret is C15, with a mid-C19 top and spirelet. The chancel dates wholly from the mid-C19; it has diagonal buttresses with set-offs, gargoyles, pinnacles and crocketed finials, and a stone parapet with blind panel tracery above a fleuron cornice. The east window is of three lights, with ogee trefoil cusping, supermullions, and a quatrefoil in a roundel over the centre light; there is an ogival crocketed label with foliage boss. The north and south windows are each of three lights, with panel tracery over, and date from the mid-C19 rebuilding. The north and south aisles overlap the west tower; each is of four bays, and has three-light trefoil-cusped windows with panel tracery over, and a quatrefoil in a roundel at centre. The south doorway into the south aisle has moulded jambs with fleurons. Above is an inscription of carved stone, with the letters painted, which reads: ‘This is None Other but y House of God and this the Gate of Heaven’. The doorway has a corbelled-out stone canopy, which is gabled and has a stone cross at its apex. The north aisle is mid-C19, with windows similar to those in the south aisle.

INTERIOR: the C12 chancel arch is reset in the north aisle at the entrance to the organ chamber; the shafted responds have tall scallop capitals, with a two-centred arch over of one chamfered and one moulded order. The C12 tower-arch has plain jambs and chamfered imposts, with a two-centred arch of two chamfered orders with a sunk quadrant between. The nave is of three bays; the arcades are of pointed arches springing from shafted piers and round capitals, the north arcade dating from the C15, and the south arcade, designed to match, from the C19. The nave has a collar-truss roof with four-centred arch-bracing carried on carved angel-corbels; there are king-posts above the collar. The chancel roof is of the same design, though with an ornamental wall-plate. The roofs date from the mid-C19 rebuilding.

PRINCIPAL FITTINGS: the FONT is a C13 round, stone bowl with a moulded band and convex into the cylindrical stem and hollow-chamfered base. The PISCINA, reset in the south aisle, dates from the C15; it consists of a recess with trefoiled head and sunk spandrels, and panelled jambs. Reset in the chancel is a BRASS to William (Grey), who was Rector, 1524-5; it carries a Latin inscription and depicts the figure of priest in mass-vestments holding a chalice and wafer. The majority of the fittings were installed as part of the mid-C19 rebuilding. The polygonal stone PULPIT is carved with traceried blind arcading and has a moulded base and top; it retains its brass candleholders. The oak LECTERN has attached brass candleholders with twisted stems. The congregational SEATING (which survives except in the south aisle) consists of pews of oak with rectangular ends, which are carved with small roundels with varying motifs. The oak CHOIR STALLS, which have carved details, retain their brass candle holders. The patterned GLASS in the aisles is a single, uniform scheme of diamond panes with repeating yellow floral motifs and brightly-coloured foliate margin glazing. The COMMUNION RAILS are gilded with spiral posts and foliage under the rail. The panelled oak REREDOS of 1880 depicts the symbols of the four evangelists. The six BELLS include four earlier bells re-cast by Thomas Bilbie in 1775, together with two new bells by Bilbie added at the same date. The tenor bell is inscribed ‘I to the church the living call, and to the grave do summon all’. The WAR MEMORIAL takes the form of a marble plaque bearing a regimental crest and inscribed with the names of the Fallen from the First World War (12 in total), together with the inscriptions: IN MEMORY OF THE MEN OF THIS / PARISH OR ASSOCIATED THEREWITH / WHO SACRIFICED THEIR LIVES IN / THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY / 1914-1918 and ERECTED BY PARISHIONERS AND FRIENDS.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 26 October 2017.


The church, formerly a chapel of Frome St Quintin, includes the remains of a C12 church founded on the site; the re-set chancel arch and the responds of the tower arch survive from this phase. A stone capital with the carved figure of man with key (possibly St Peter), dating from the late C12, is preserved within the church. The tower was rebuilt in the C15, and a new north arcade added in the same period, to create a church with nave, north aisle, lower section of the tower, north and south transepts, and chancel. Between 1783 and 1789, the renowned poet of rural life and society, George Crabbe (1754-1832), was rector of Frome St Quintin and Evershot. The church was restored and largely rebuilt in two campaigns in 1852-3 and 1864: the chancel, nave, north aisle and the upper part of the tower were rebuilt, the new chancel replacing one which had been built in 1768. A south aisle was added, the arcade taking its style from the C15 north arcade, and a new west door and west window were created. Both phases of the C19 work were undertaken by the architect Robert H Shout (d.1884), from Sherborne.

Reasons for Listing

The Church of St Osmund, Evershot, a Norman church with C15 work, largely rebuilt in two phases in 1852-3 and 1864 by Robert H Shout (d.1884), is listed at Grade II*, for the following principal reasons:
* Relative date: the church retains some fabric from the C12 and C15, including the Norman chancel arch and tower arch of the C12;
* Architectural interest: the church is primarily a successful mid-C19 Perpendicular Gothic design, taking its cue from the C15 work of the earlier building, demonstrating high quality in its architectural style and execution;
* Architect: the C19 rebuilding was by Richard H Shout, a local architect whose ornate design is a good response to the ideas of the Gothic revival which blossomed from the 1830s, and was intended to complement the existing C15 work;
* Fittings: the remarkably complete mid-Victorian fittings are enhanced by the Norman font and an early-C16 brass to the Reverend William Grey, together with a uniform scheme of patterned stained glass to the aisles and a good reredos of 1880;
* Group value: with the number of chest tombs in the churchyard which are listed at Grade II.

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