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Latitude: 51.3131 / 51°18'47"N
Longitude: -2.1356 / 2°8'8"W
OS Eastings: 390646
OS Northings: 157115
OS Grid: ST906571
Mapcode National: GBR 1SX.LWM
Mapcode Global: VH973.X8W7
Entry Name: Church of St Mary the Virgin
Listing Date: 11 September 1968
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1252395
English Heritage Legacy ID: 435411
Location: Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire, BA14
Civil Parish: Steeple Ashton
Built-Up Area: Steeple Ashton
Traditional County: Wiltshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire
Church of England Parish: Steeple Ashton
Church of England Diocese: Salisbury
STEEPLE ASHTON CHURCH STREET
ST 95 NW
(off north side)
7/215 Church of St Mary the Virgin
Anglican parish church. Late C15, some rebuilding 1670, chancel
rebuilt 1853 by Clutton. Limestone ashlar, lead roofs. Plan:
west tower, nave with aisles and north and south porches, chancel
with chapels. Perpendicular. Two-storey south porch with Tudor-
arched doorway with hoodmould, diagonal buttresses, carried up to
crocketed pinnacles, 2-light cusped square-headed first floor
window, gabled parapet with string courses, large incised sundial
over door. South aisle to left has half a 4-light Tudor-arched
window, right half taken up by polygonal stair turret to porch,
elaborate aisle and nave buttresses with panelled and crocketed
pinnacles, aisle and chapel to right of porch has four 4-light
windows, square moulded doorway. Four-bay clerestory with 4-light
windows, both aisle and nave roofs have richly-carved battlemented
parapets, string courses with large gargoyles, flying buttresses to
east corners of nave, 4-light windows to east end of aisles.
Chancel has 1850s five-light east window with Perpendicular
tracery, north side has C19 two-light Perpendicular-style window.
North aisle has blocked east window, four 4-light Perpendicular
windows to left of single-storey porch with blocked doorway and
1980s inserted window, two 4-light windows to right, 4-bay
clerestory, same windows, pinnacles and roof detail as south side.
Four-stage tower with flanking bays, each with 4-light window to
north and south, 2-light to west ends, polygonal stair turrets,
tower has Tudor-arched moulded west doorway, 4-light window over,
fine canopied image niches, 3-light windows to second, third and
fourth stages, blocked to lower but with Somerset-type stone
louvres to bellstage, set-back buttresses, string courses,
gargoyles to battlemented parapet with corner pinnacles. Former
spire fell in 1670.
Interior: Porch has lierne vault with carved bosses on bust
corbels, fixed stone benches, early C19 double doors plus original
ledged Tudor-arched door. Four-bay nave with unusual wooden lierne
vault with carved pendants and bosses, originally intended to be
stone, tall moulded pointed 4-bay arcades on compound piers, tall
clerestory with moulded stone springers on busts for vault.
Panelled pointed tower arch. Four-bay aisles with stone lierne
vaults, crocketed image niches with finely-carved busts below,
possibly recut. Baptistry in southbay flanking tower, moulded
cross beam ceilings, C19 octagonal stone font with tall wooden
cover. Lady chapel to south of chancel has 2-bay stone lierne
vault supported on niches with busts. Organ chamber and small
chapel fill two east bays of north aisle. Moulded pointed chancel
arch, blocked 5-light window over and original lower roofline
visible, C19 three-bay vaulted ceiling, C19 carved wooden reredos,
Minton tiled floor. Other fittings: C19 nave and chancel seating,
C19 polygonal carved wooden pulpit, three C19 brass candelabra.
Some medieval stained glass in aisles and Lady Chapel, 1879 west
window glass. Good collection of monuments: Baptistry group
includes large coloured marble to John Smith died 1775; south
aisle marble to Henry Long of Rood Ashton (q.v.) died 1672; north
aisle stone tablet to Elizabeth Silverthorn died 1756; gothic
tablet over south door to Samuel Hey died 1825 - founder of the Hey
library. A brass inscription at the west end records the fall of
the spire in 1670 and subsequent rebuilding of tower in 1675.
Brass plate records building of aisles, paid for by Robert Long and
Walter Leucas. One of the finest Perpendicular churches in the
country, its wealth coming from Steeple Ashton's woollen industry.
(N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Wiltshire, 1975)
Listing NGR: ST9064957113
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