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Parish Church of St Mary

A Grade II Listed Building in Maryport, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.7153 / 54°42'54"N

Longitude: -3.4947 / 3°29'40"W

OS Eastings: 303808

OS Northings: 536610

OS Grid: NY038366

Mapcode National: GBR 4F1X.6H

Mapcode Global: WH5YB.9R32

Plus Code: 9C6RPG84+44

Entry Name: Parish Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 29 July 1950

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1327106

English Heritage Legacy ID: 71807

Location: Maryport, Allerdale, Cumbria, CA15

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Maryport

Built-Up Area: Maryport

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Maryport St Mary with Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

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29-JUL-50 (East side)

DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT: Parish church of 1760 origin, rebuilt 1847, from which period the tower survives, and rebuilt again in 1892 by J.H. Martindale.

MATERIALS: Coursed hammer-dressed red sandstone with freestone dressings, slate roof.

PLAN: Aisled nave, west tower with north and south porches, chancel and south-east vestry.

EXTERIOR: The tower is in the simple Gothic style of the early C19, 4 stages with diagonal buttresses, embattled parapet and bold but simple corner pinnacles. Its lower stage is a porch and its west doorway has a continuous double chamfer, with doors inserted in 2007. There are lancets in the second stage, round clock in lozenge frame in the west face of the third stage, and upper stage with 3 stepped lights with louvres. The remainder of the church is mainly in Decorated style. Porches on the north and south sides of the tower are identical. They have west windows of 6 cusped lights, and north and south doorways with relief foliage in tympana. Above them the 3-light aisle west windows are without tracery, and are possibly re-used windows of 1847. The south aisle has an embattled parapet and buttresses with gable caps. It is 6 unequal bays with 3-light windows, except for an 1847 lancet at the east end and a 2-light window to accommodate a shallow, gabled porch to the former Senhouse family pew. The north aisle is similar but with 3-light and a 1-light window, and 2-light east window with plate tracery that appears to be re-used from the 1847 church. The chancel is as high as the nave and has diagonal buttresses, and freestone parapet and gables. It has a simple east window of 3 stepped lights, more likely 1847 than 1892, and 2-light Decorated south window. The south-east vestry has square-headed mullioned windows, and extends beyond the east end of the chancel.

INTERIOR: The wide and high nave, with its short sanctuary, suggests that the present building preserves the dimensions of the earlier building, and that it once had a gallery. The narrow low tower arch, with continuous moulding, is of 1847, above which are a 1760 date tablet and an 1892 oriel window. Four-bay nave arcades have octagonal piers and are continuous with the 2-bay chancel arcades, which have round piers and leaf-band capitals. The sanctuary arch has continuous mouldings. The nave and chancel roof is of 11½ bays, with king posts and raking struts, carried on brackets. The sanctuary has a closed polygonal roof with moulded ribs and boarded panels. The east window has a shafted rere arch with blind tracery. Walls are plastered. There are stone floors in nave and aisles, with raised floorboards below pews, and marble tiles in the chancel.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The baluster font is dated 1760. In the south aisle is a classical wall tablet with open pediment, to Humphrey Senhouse (d 1776), founder of the church. Other fixtures are C19 and C20. Pews have fielded-panel ends and backs of mid C19 character, very much in keeping with the architecture of the church; some pews have been removed from the west end. Churchwardens¿ pews against the west wall are part of the same set but have added canopies, and behind them are early C19 metal plaques with Lord's Prayer, Apostle's Creed and Ten Commandments. The Jacobean-style pulpit is said to be of 1837, although its studied authenticity makes it look later, and is attached to a low screen incorporating Jacobean and linenfold panelling, which is post 1886. Choir stalls incorporate a tier of open balustrading to the frontal, and have ends with arm rests. The sanctuary walls have Gothic panelling, incorporating a reredos with canopied niches, post 1906. The rood beam, with inscription in raised letters, is post 1910, and helps to articulate the change from nave to chancel. The war-memorial north chapel has screens with panelled dado, open tracery and rich brattishing. The north wall is panelled and incorporates a 1914-18 war-memorial plaque. Aisles have a complete scheme of stained-glass windows narrating scenes from the life of Christ, by Atkinson brothers of Newcastle (1892). The chapel war-memorial east window is by Heaton Butler & Bayne. A mosaic panel depicting St Martin is a memorial to Isabella Scott Newby (d 1922). The Royal Arms, dated 1661, is painted on boards and was brought from another church.

HISTORY: Built in 1760 by Humphrey Senhouse as a chapel to serve the population of his new coal port of Maryport, named after his wife. Only the font and Senhouse¿s memorial survive of this original church. It was rebuilt in 1847 and an engraving kept in the church shows it to have been aisleless, but with a south transept. The 1847 west tower, and probably the east window, survived the enlargement and restoration of 1890-92 by J.H. Martindale (1855-1931), architect of Carlisle, which retained the spare character of the previous church.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland, 1967, p 159.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St Mary, Church Street, Maryport, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* The church is prominently sited at a major junction in the town, has a harmonious appearance in spite of being the work of 2 periods, and has a fine west tower that preserves its 1840s character.
* It has a well-preserved interior of C19 and early C20 fittings.
* It has a complete scheme of late C19 stained-glass in the aisles that makes a strong contribution to the internal coherence of the building.

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, 16 August 2017.

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