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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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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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Listing Text

SJ 3231-3331
11/127 Domestic Chapel approx 350m
south of Halston Hall (form-
8.10.59 erly listed as Domestic
Chapel in Halston Park)
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. Rectang-
ular 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
2-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 4-centred arch to gable framing 3-light leaded mullion
window with similar 2-light windows on north and south. Nave has three
3-light leaded mullion windows directly above middle rail on both sides and
similar 2-light shuttered windows directly below it towards west end on each
side. Tower: unbuttressed in 3 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 6
bays with foliated bosses and carved spandrels to tie beams, carvings including
a fox, bear, dragon and 2 large bearded faces, one of a bishop or mitred
abbot. Purlins and windbraces concealed by C18 plaster ceil except in west
bay where 2 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; 2 square pews at east end
and 2 pairs of pews, facing each other on north and south; west of these
are 2 pews facing east and behind are 2 large square pews, also facing east,
with benches on all 4 sides and lit by the 2-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 2 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 2 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 2-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 1562/3. The chapel is one of only 2 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.
B.o.E. p. 137; D.H.S. Cranage, The Churches of Shropshire, Part 9 (1908),
pp. 788-91.

Listing NGR: SJ3388431298

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