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Domestic Chapel approximately 350 metres south of Halston Hall

A Grade I Listed Building in Whittington, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.8751 / 52°52'30"N

Longitude: -2.9838 / 2°59'1"W

OS Eastings: 333883

OS Northings: 331298

OS Grid: SJ338312

Mapcode National: GBR 76.QV0T

Mapcode Global: WH89R.4ZFS

Entry Name: Domestic Chapel approximately 350 metres south of Halston Hall

Listing Date: 8 October 1959

Last Amended: 2 September 1987

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1367397

English Heritage Legacy ID: 255843

Location: Whittington, Shropshire, SY11

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Whittington

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

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Whittington

Description

SJ 3231-3331
11/127

WHITTINGTON CP
ELLESMERE ROAD (south side)
Domestic Chapel approximately 350 metres south of Halston Hall

(formerly listed as Domestic Chapel in Halston Park)

8.10.59

I
Domestic chapel. Probably early C16 with west tower of c.1725. Timber framed with later painted brick infill on chamfered rubblestone plinth; slate roof with cusped bargeboards. Red brick tower, formerly limewashed. Rectangular nave and short one bay chancel.

Framing: post and pan with moulded middle rail, several of uprights replaced by C20 cement-rendered posts in imitation; curved brace from tie beam to slightly jowled wall-post at west end on north. Vertical posts to either side of tower have tiny infilled two-light mullion windows with pointed heads and hollow spandrels. Bargeboards all C20 except section to north of tower which looks original; projecting single-purlin and wall-plate ends. East gable has collar and tie beam end truss with king strut and vertical struts to left and right.

Lower gabled chancel has depressed four-centred arch to gable framing three-light leaded mullion window with similar two-light windows on north and south. Nave has three three-light leaded mullion windows directly above middle rail on both sides and similar two-light shuttered windows directly below it towards west end on each side.

Tower: unbuttressed in three stages without string courses, formerly with pyramidal cap. Pointed windows to second stage on north, south and west and to belfry on all sides; bottom half of each window blind (except those on south which are completely blind), top half glazed; window to second stage on north retaining original intersecting tracery with leaded lights. Square blind opening to first stage on west above pointed doorway with boarded door and leaded overlight. Dentilled eaves cornice and C18 brass weathercock. Part of an octagonal medieval font was situated by the door at time of resurvey (June 1986).

Interior: original slightly cambered tie-beam roof in six bays with foliated bosses and carved spandrels to tie beams, carvings including a fox, bear, dragon and two large bearded faces, one of a bishop or mitred abbot. Purlins and windbraces concealed by C18 plaster ceil except in west bay where two cusped windbraces are visible beneath plaster. Full-height square and rectangular oak wall panelling probably c.1600. Pews have same kind of panelling and are probably contemporary; two square pews at east end and two pairs of pews, facing each other on north and south; west of these are two pews facing east and behind are two large square pews, also facing east, with benches on all four sides and lit by the two-light mullion windows. All the pews have H-hinges and unusual spring-catches, the middle of the front bench of the long pews on the north and south sides opening up on butterfly hinges to give access to the back pew. West gallery below the first tie beam looks Jacobean reusing early C16 woodwork but was apparently remodelled c.1725 when tower was built. Carved Perpendicular tracery panels (said to have been brought from Whittington Church; q.v. under Church of St John the Baptist) alternating with curious C18 balusters to front of gallery, whole supported by C18 fluted pilasters. Elliptical arch to sanctuary has fluted pilasters to sides but has C16 foliated boss to underside and late medieval carved figures of angels to spandrels. C18 brass sconces throughout and chandelier with double-headed eagle hanging from eastern tie beam of nave.

Eastern bay of nave approached by flight of two steps has Christening pew to right with sandstone fluted turned baluster font (formerly with scalloped cover) and benches to all sides. Pew to left has inserted double-decker pulpit (dated 1725) complete with sounding board and approached by staircase with splat balusters; date and coat-of-arms of Mytton impaling Owen in inlaid wood to west panel. Communion rail with fluted turned balusters probably contemporary as are communion table (also with turned balusters) and reredos. This has segmental broken pediment with carvings of cherubs and holy spirit above painted Ten Commandments to centre flanked by Moses (left) and Aaron (right). Lord's Prayer on north and Creed on south side.

Tapering circular font of indeterminate but medieval date to centre of nave resting on separate octagonal base, probably also medieval and originally associated with font now outside west door. Royal coat-of-arms (probably George III) to front of west gallery and three C18 hatchments to nave on each side plus one to wall in third bay from west on north. C18 paintings in fifth bay from west, King David playing harp (north side) and Ascension (south side); contemporary painting of Baptism of Christ over sanctuary arch. Emblazoned armorial tabard, formerly with helmet and crest and two standards above, over C18 font in Christening pew.

Monument: brass plate in nave floor to Rebecca Mytton (died 1840) mother of the famous sportsman, 'mad' Jack Mytton (died 1834), who is reputed to be buried in the ringed vault beneath the chancel-steps. Stone-flagged and tile floor and in tower a medieval stone coffin and the remains of an upright with a tiny pierced two-light lancet window similar to those at west end of nave.

There is considerable controversy over the precise date and original function of the chapel. A preceptory of Knights Hospitallers was established at Halston in C12 and remained until the Dissolution. It has been variously suggested that the chapel was built by the Hospitallers in late C15 or early C16; that it was a chapel built by the grantees of the manor between 1536 and 1553; that it was a chapel built by the Hospitallers when it was re-granted to them during Mary's reign or that it was built as a domestic chapel after the confirmation of the grant of Halston to the Mytton family in 1562-63.

The chapel is one of only two timber framed churches in Shropshire and is remarkable for the survival and quality of its early C17 and C18 fittings, the latter paid for by Richard Mytton (died 1731).

The chapel stands within a raised churchyard and there are extensive earthworks (almost certainly connected with the preceptory), including what appears to be a dried-up moated platform to the south, in the surrounding fields.

Listing NGR: SJ3388431298

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