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Church of St Mary

A Grade II* Listed Building in Andover, Hampshire

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Latitude: 51.2101 / 51°12'36"N

Longitude: -1.4786 / 1°28'42"W

OS Eastings: 436521

OS Northings: 145786

OS Grid: SU365457

Mapcode National: GBR 72R.50C

Mapcode Global: VHC2S.BV66

Plus Code: 9C3W6G6C+2H

Entry Name: Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 24 February 1950

Last Amended: 15 January 2020

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1264572

English Heritage Legacy ID: 139535

Location: Andover, Test Valley, Hampshire, SP10

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Andover

Built-Up Area: Andover

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Andover St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Winchester

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Parish church of 1840-1846, by A F Livesay (1807-1879), with revisions and completion by Sydney Smirke (1798-1882) of 1842-1846, and refurnishing and alterations of 1871 by William White (1825-1900).


Parish church of 1840-1846, by A F Livesay (1807-1879), with revisions and completion by Sydney Smirke (1798-1882) of 1842-1846, and refurnishing and alterations of 1871 by William White (1825-1900).

MATERIALS: walls of knapped flint, with Caen stone dressings, under a pitched, slate roof.

PLAN: the church comprises a nave with clerestory, tall north and south aisles, lower north and south transepts and an apsidal chancel. There is a tall west tower, which contains the principal entrance from the west, and there are two entrances to the south (south transept and nave). Below the nave, there is a medieval crypt which is accessed by external steps to the north.

EXTERIOR: the church is designed in the Early English style and with close reference to Salisbury Cathedral. The walls which stand on a deep plinth, are flint-faced with dressings and detailing of Caen stone and are surmounted by a stone parapet. Both the side aisles and the clerestory have paired lancet windows, elaborate corbel-tables and flat or chamfered buttresses, which are mostly gabled.

The eastern apse is full-height, with broad, three-light traceried windows surmounted by three untrefoiled lights, below paired lancets above (which serve a void above the chancel, throwing light into the nave). The corners of the apse are supported by two-stage, gabled buttresses. To the north side in between the apse and the north transept, the church projects to accommodate the organ and vestry.

The tower has angled buttresses to the lower two stages and clasped buttresses to the upper two stages. Those at the lower stages are gabled, and flat-faced. Those of the upper stage are octagonal, with their middle sections formed by slender columns. At the base of the tower on the western elevation, there is a deeply-splayed, stone, door architrave formed of slender columns, supporting Y-shaped detailing to the arch. Above, there is a tall west window, formed of four lancets delineated by columnar-supported tracery which has two smaller quatrefoils and a central, six-sided example. The mid-stage of the tower has circular clock faces to the western and southern elevations, which are inset into a recessed and stepped, circular stone moulding The belfry stage has a triple-arcade to all elevations with a central vented opening. Connected by the pierced parapet above, there are octagonal, crocketed, corner pinnacles with ball finials.

The western ends of the transepts have a pair of lancet windows and are terminated by chamfered buttresses. The south face of the southern transept, has a five-light window with stone mullions in the form of columns, surmounted by Gothic arches, the intersection of which are marked out by sculptured stops. Below, there is a triple arcade of Gothic arches with gables above. Each has a quatrefoil carving and is surmounted by a carved cross. The central arch contains double, timber doors with decorative strap hinges (the design of which is carried across all the external doors). The gable above has a circular rose window with columnar spindles and is surmounted by a stone, wheel-cross. The whole ensemble is supported by gabled buttresses with octagonal decorative finials of coupled-columns. Further to the west there is another southern entrance, located in a gabled porch surmounted by a stone cross. The porch has low-set buttresses to either side of the double entrance doors, and paired lancet windows to the side elevations. The north transept end wall is plainer than the southern example. It has three lancets (the central being taller) and a small trefoil in the roof gable, which in turn is surmounted by a stone cross. The side elevations have a single lancet window.

INTERIOR: throughout the lofty nave and aisles there is a unified presentation of slender, clustered columns supporting high gothic arches, and continuing upward through the clerestory where they act as springers for the elegant quadripartite and rib-vaulted ceiling. The chancel vaulting is similar, as is the case in the transepts where the ceilings are lower. The walls throughout the church are plastered, painted and enlivened with sculptured heads and decorative mouldings, including a characteristic corbel design, which twists as it is seated into the wall.

The chancel to the east end has an apsidal sanctuary, which is separated from the nave by a screen of three pointed arches, on slender and tall, cast-iron columns. The wall above the screen has a mural painting of the Annunciation, the last visible intact component of the 1891 scheme of decoration, apart from a small patch revealed on one of the apse columns. Above, there is a five-light window, delineated by slender shafts, which illuminates the unusual void above the chancel. The lower part of the apse has a continuous arcade of detached columns and arches, framing angel statues on brackets designed by White in 1887, carved by Harry Hems, and originally standing on the chancel screen. The choir and chancel are almost wholly paved with ornamental tiles, and a slab ledger commemorates Dr Goddard, the founder of the church.

The pulpit, font, chancel screen, altar rails, clergy seats and choir stalls are all by William White of 1871, with carving by Harry Hems. The pulpit is of unusual form, on a circular stone base, with a massive ramped marble hand rail resting on dwarf marble columns of varied colours with floriated alabaster capitals. The altar rails are on metal supports of original design including wrought-iron twisted into plant tendrils. The choir and clergy stalls are of timber, pierced with quatrefoils and with poppy-head decoration to the ends. The back choir stalls are set into masonry dwarf walls with unusual foliated wings at each end. The font consists of a large marble bowl merging into supporting corner columns, standing on stumpy columns of marble with carved alabaster capitals. The font bowl has elaborate stylized foliage carving and the wooden font cover is pyramidal, heavily crocketed and decorated with inset coloured quatrefoils.

There are three elaborate classically-styled monuments in the chancel area. The first for Richard Kemys (died 1611) and his wife and family, which is made of painted plaster and has columns topped by Corinthian capitals and surmounted by obelisks acting as pinnacles. Contained within, there is a figurine of Kemys holding a skull and his family kneeling in prayer, along with inscribed plaques, the family coat of arms on shields and strapwork above. The second to Richard Venables of 1613, is a flat-faced, painted-timber memorial depicting an elaborate stone arch with central dedication plaque. The third monument of 1621, is formed of painted plaster and is framed by a cornice, supported on columns with Corinthian capitals. It has richly decorated plasterwork, including dragons to the base and is surmounted by strapwork. Contained within, there are two kneeling figures (Richard Venables and his wife) who face each other in a prayer pose.

The south transept has two C18/C19 timber boards commemorating the past charitable donors. The north transept is fitted-out as a memorial chapel and divided from the church by a mid-C20, timber parclose screen. The nave and aisles are of six bays, the aisles being extended by a bay on each side of the tower. The western bay of the north aisle is fitted as an open kitchen. The timber pews of 1871 in the nave, are also by William White and are of simple sculptural design with distinctive n-shaped ends, and in accord with his published views on practical church seating. The floor is largely of timber boards, with the stone-paved, central, side and transept aisles, being edged with ornamental tiles.

The tower has an open strainer arch, which faces east towards the nave. This once held the organ, but is now open and may have been modified in the later C19. To the base of the tower(and throughout the church) there are a good number of C17-C19, stone wall monuments including of note; a plaque of 1609 to James Lamborne (a town gent); an armorial cartouche for James Walter (died 1778) and Elizabeth Walter (died 1779) surmounted by a sculpture of a graceful female figure, mourning by a Grecian urn; a rectangular plaque originated in 1721 and recording the deaths of the Brice family through to 1899 and many plaques commemorating C18 and C19 members of the Pollen family.

Beneath the nave of the church is a substantial crypt reached by steps outside the north aisle. The crypt is vaulted with round brick arches on brick piers, and there are several ledger slabs set into the floor.

The original window glass for the church was supplied by William Wailes of Newcastle, and where it survives (most notably in the apse) it has a coloured pattern, or plain diamond quarries with coloured borders. Notable replacements include; south chancel north and south east windows by Thomas Ward of 1851, most easterly north aisle window, probably by Ward and Hughes commemorating an 1880 death, south chancel south window is of 1874 by Lavers, Barraud and Westlake. Others makers include Mayer and Co of Munich or are artist-designed C20 feature windows including ; south transept to the eastern side by Edward Liddell Armitage in 1934; north transept to eastern side (St Celia) by Wippell of Exeter in 1953; south aisle (The Tree of Life and the Holy Spirit) by Mel Howse in 2002; north aisle by Deborah Lowe of 2008-2009.


The Church of St Mary of 1840-1846 replaced a medieval church on the same site, but retained the C12 crypt below. A Norman arch was also reused as one of the entrance ways into the graveyard and a number of the older funerary monuments were built into the walls of the new church. The C19 church was funded by Dr Goddard (1757-1845), who was a former headmaster of Winchester School. He was closely involved in the design of the Church of St Mary and made several suggestions about the form and layout of the building, with much of the detailing influenced by Salisbury Cathedral.
A F Livesay (1807-1879) of Portsea was appointed as the architect. He had already designed the Church of Holy Trinity, Trowbridge (National Heritage List for England (NHLE) 1283596, listed at Grade II*) and the Church of the Holy Spirit, Newtown, Isle of Wight (NHLE 1292702, listed at Grade II). He trained in Caen, France, and was articled to James Adams (1785–1850) of Plymouth. He later became a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1866.
During the build in June 1842,  the new nave roof and part of the north clerestory collapsed into the church, killing one man and injuring several others. Two days later the south clerestory wall collapsed, injuring several more workmen. Goddard then sought the advice of the architect Sydney Smirke (1798-1882), who determined that the fault lay in a defective column. A revised approach was agreed (without the originally proposed tower) with Smirke providing general oversight along with a clerk of works. The revised building was finally completed in August 1844. Just over a year later, Dr Goddard died and was buried at the foot of the chancel steps. By 1846, the upstanding remains of the medieval church had also been demolished and the revised tower was completed. Smirke was a renowned architect, who worked throughout the mid-C19, with his commissions including alterations to the British Museum (NHLE 1130404) and repairs to the nave roof of York Minster (NHLE 1257222), both listed at Grade I. Although fundamentally a classicist, he demonstrated his capability in the Gothic style, through his church repair and alteration work.
In August 1871 the church was refurbished and refitted, including new floors for the chancel, nave and aisles; replacement pews, choir stalls, clergy seats, organ, pulpit, font, altar rails and chancel screen; a new south porch; and changes to the interior layout.  William White (1825-1900) was the architect for these works and he designed the new furnishings and fittings. The carving was by Harry Hems of Exeter. The alterations increased the capacity of the church from 644 to 806. White's connection with St Mary's continued into the 1880s and in 1887 he designed carved angels for the chancel wall, now relocated on the backs of the chancel stalls and in the apse niches. William White was a significant and inventive architect of the Victorian Gothic Revival, working in Gilbert Scott's office and then setting up his own practice at the age of 22. He established a reputation as an original, striking and inventive church designer.  His best known works include being the Church of All Saints, Notting Hill (NHLE 1080701, listed at Grade II*) and the Church of St Michael and All Angels, Lyndhurst, Hampshire (NHLE 1094725, listed at Grade I).
In 1891 the whole of the chancel was given an elaborate scheme of painted decoration by Mr C E Godfrey Gray of Cambridge, a decorator and stained glass designer. By 1959 most of the decoration in the chancel was painted over, leaving only the mural of the Annunciation over the chancel arch and a small section on one of the chancel columns.
After the Second World War a memorial chapel was formed in the north transept in 1950, with a new parclose screen and a triptych reredos. The chapel was conceived by H M R Drury, then architect of Exeter Cathedral and elements of the design were by Wippells of Exeter. In 1968 the font was moved from its place under the tower to a new position on the east side of the north transept. During the C20, a number of stained glass windows were replaced, a kitchen was inserted into the westernmost bay of the north aisle and stairs were inserted to the south side of the tower. In 1986 as part of a re-ordering scheme the chancel side walls were cut back and the western wall and gates entirely removed. New communion rails of modern appearance were installed along with stone-flagged communion steps.

Reasons for Listing

The Church of St Mary, Andover, a church of 1840-1846, by Augustus  Livesay (1807-1879), with revisions and completion by Sydney Smirke (1798-1882) of 1842-1846, and renovations and alterations of 1871 by William White (1825-1900), is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:
* the church is large-scale and notable for the quality of its disciplined Early English design (inspired by Salisbury Cathedral) and idiosyncratic plan;
* successive phases of fine quality decoration, fixtures and fittings, particularly by William White, have endowed the church with a rich and dramatic interior;
 * the church retains a C12-crypt and notable funerary monuments from the C17 along with a large collection from the C18 and C19.
Historic interest:
* the church is a notable example of a Commissioners church funded by a private individual (Dr Goddard, former Headmaster of Winchester School), illustrating the impact of private patronage on this building type.
Group value:
* with the other structures on site, including the Grade II-listed Church steps and forecourt wall, War memorial, and a Norman archway.

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