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Church of Saint Mary

A Grade II* Listed Building in Esclusham, Wrexham

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.0363 / 53°2'10"N

Longitude: -3.0376 / 3°2'15"W

OS Eastings: 330521

OS Northings: 349281

OS Grid: SJ305492

Mapcode National: GBR 74.DLNN

Mapcode Global: WH88Y.9YS6

Entry Name: Church of Saint Mary

Listing Date: 8 December 1995

Last Amended: 8 December 1995

Grade: II*

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 16553

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In a wooded churchyard on the W side of Bersham village.

County: Wrexham

Community: Esclusham

Community: Esclusham

Locality: Bersham

Traditional County: Denbighshire

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History

A plaque over the doorway records 'This chapel was built by T.L.Fitzhugh for the use of his household and dependants. It was opened for divine service on the 6th January 1876 and it was consecrated with the vault as a private chapel by the Bishop of Saint Asaph on the 13th October 1883'. The architect was John Gibson, responsible for much of the work on the estate (including the remodelling of Plas Power itself in 1858) carried out for Thomas Lloyd Fitzhugh. The upper stage of the tower was added in 1892-3. The building remains a private chapel.

Exterior

Rock-faced rubble with free-stone dressings, and leaded roofs. Nave with tower over NW porch, transepts and apsidal chancel. A rich Romanesque style. 3 stage tower has porch in lower stage: round arched outer doorway with chevron moulding and bands; billet moulding to hood mould, and foliate capitals to shafts. Cast iron cusped open-work panelled gates. Similar detail to inner archway. Narrow round-arched window in 2nd stage, and tall paired bell-chamber lights with scallop capitals to shafts above. These lights are divided by red sandstone shafts with bands and foliate capitals to enriched corbel table. Short spire with arched pinnacles at angles. W end has stepped round-arched windows with cable moulded string course and continuous hood mould sprung from outer shafts. Central shafts form a high blind arch over the central window, with a blind traceried rose at its apex. Nave is articulated by buttresses, with round-arched window with banded voussoir head in each bay. Simple corbel table. S transept has paired round-arched windows, linked by continuous impost band forming small blind arch between the windows, and by cabled moulded sill band. Similar fenestration in N transept, which has small gabled porch to E. Apsidal chancel has foliate capitals to shafts carrying chevron moulded arches over the round-headed windows. Similar moulding surrounds small oculi above the main windows.

Interior

Nave of 3 bays, with transverse rib vaulting, the ribs sprung from red sandstone engaged shafts on high bases with trumpet capitals. Similar, coupled, shafts carry chancel arch, which is stepped and enriched with foliate bands. Crossing arches are also similar. Apse has banded barrel vault, and rib-vaults defining bays of E end, which has banded voussoirs to grouped pointed arched windows. The vaulting above them is pierced by tiny oculi. Deep splayed windows to nave and S transept also have banded voussoir heads. Fittings are largely contemporary, and include pulpit with interlaced tracery and red marble shafts, with similar interlace detail to communion rail, and arcading to reredos. Fine wrought corona over choir. Stained glass: E windows form a series (undated figures of Love, Faith and Hope), with stars in the oculi above. Figures of Saint Mary Magdalen in S transept windows, 1892.

Reasons for Listing

An exceptionally richly detailed private chapel which has a stylistic coherence running through its external and internal architectural detail, and the contemporary fittings.

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