Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Mid Suffolk (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TM 12097 73897


YAXLEY CHURCH LANE (SOUTH SIDE) TM 17 SW 3/143 Church of St. Mary 29.7.55


Parish church. Early C14, largely rebuilt in C15. Restored with chancel rebuilt and south porch added in 1868 by E.L. Blackburne. Flint rubble; some knapped, squared flushwork in north porch. Part cement rendered, stone dressings. Tiled roofs with fishscale patterning on chancel, leaded south aisle roof. Short nave and south aisle, west tower, north and south porches, narrower and shorter chancel. Square 3 stage C14 west tower without an entrance. Between lower stages to west a niche with a cusped ogee head, flanking traceried shafts. To north and south lower stages have cusped slit openings with ogee heads on lowest stage. At west angles are 3 stage diagonal buttresses with flint and stone chequerwork, cusped tracery. Belfry has 4 pointed arched 2-light Y traceried louvred openings, stone quoining, cornice to embattled parapet. Towards west end of nave is large and richly ornamented north porch of c.1480 given by Yaxley family, 2 storeys as tall as nave eaves. Pointed outer arch has a triple order of shafted jambs with brattished caps, outer shafts support spandrels which have reliefs of St. Blaise with a monster and Hercules with the Nemean lion, small dogs are carved on moulding around spandrels. Flanking entrance arch is a double plinth, flushwork with lower traceried panels, above initials IC with coronets, above these are blank shields of arms in octafoils and 2 niches with traceried vaulted canopies, elaborately crocketed and pinnacled, semi-hexagonal statue pedastals. Above entrance arch is a frieze of panels with initials M and coronets. Upper storey has two 2-light Perpendicular windows, intermediate ornamental shafts with 2 small canopied niches, outer larger elaborately canopied niches. Parapet has blank shields of arms with cusped scrolled tracery, sawtooth brattishing, octagonal pinnacles with a central winged lion, outer seated figures. 2 stage diagonal buttresses with flushwork, canopied niches as to front, brattished offsets. Returns have 2-light Perpendicular windows, hoodmoulds with mask and lion stops, octagonal pinnacles with gargoyles. Visible on west return are quoins of earlier nave with kneeler to lower roof. Inside porch a groin vault with moulded ribs and tiercerons, bosses with Christ and Virgin to centre, Evangelist symbols and angels, angle colonnettes with crocketed pinnacled capitals. Original benches on sides, pillar stoup, C19 stained glass. Inner pointed entrance arch, a triple order with inner shafted jambs with brattished caps; early double doors, 6 panels vertically moulded with crocketed pinnacles to centre, at base a quatrefoil frieze. Nave to north has 2 large 3-light Perpendicular windows, an intermediate buttress and towards east a 2 stage diagonal buttress. Nave to east has a coped parapet. Nave to south has a 6 window clerestorey, 2 lights each, cusped Y tracery in segmental pointed arches. South aisle has two 2-light Perpendicular windows to centre and towards east, cusped ogee headed lights, a 2 stage buttress with scratch dial, diagonal buttresses at ends, east return 2-light Perpendicular window, hoodmould with mask stops. West bay has C19 south porch/vestry with an outer pointed arch, semi-octagonal jambs, short diagonal buttresses to returns with 2-light windows in square headed surrounds, coped gable parapet with ridge cross. Chancel: C15 east wall has a 3-light Perpendicular window with cusped ogee headed lights, segmental pointed arch, flanking 2 stage buttresses, shaped kneelers to coped gable parapet with ridge cross, 2 stage buttresses to returns with 2 different 2-light C19 windows to each side, eaves cornice , to south a central low pointed entrance arch from above which springs a C19 flying buttress. Interior: low pointed double chamfered tower arch, above is line of earlier roof. Taller pointed double chamfered chancel arch, C19 foliate capitals, above chancel arch is a C15 3-light window opening into chancel raised in 1868. C15 3 bay arcade to south aisle, octagonal piers with moulded bases and capitals, double chamfered pointed arches Good 6 bay arched braced collar roof in nave with short king posts, arched braces from king posts to ridge piece, moulded principals, purlins and arched braces, brattished collars, square foliate bosses, some early colouring on purlins over east bay and on wallplates which are thrice brattished with wings of removed angels and coronets over ashlar pieces, angels removed below posts. South aisle lean-to roof has 3 arched braced rafters, moulded purlin and principals, diamond bosses, brattished cornices, angel head corbels. C19 chancel roof, 4 bays, arched braces on stone angel corbels. Nave and aisle windows have shafted rear arches with roll moulded bases, capitals survive only in south aisle to east. Four centred arched inner hoodmould over early entrance into C19 south porch/vestry, an early plank door with ornamental iron work and strap hinges, outer pointed arch is double moulded with a mask stopped hoodmould. To north of tower arch a door for stairs to porch upper chamber. To north of chancel arch are lower cavetto moulded and upper openings to rood stairs, ends of moulded rood beam remain in walls. In chancel towards east on south wall a restored piscina with a cusped ogee head with panel traceried spandrels to square hoodmould. C15 chancel screen of 5 bays, outer dados divided into 4 panels each with painted figures of Saints, defaced to north, SS Magdalene, Barbara, Dorothy and Cecilia to south, gilded patterned backgrounds, ogee heads to panels with carved spandrels, carved frieze to open upper sections with tracery lost except to central opening which retains cusping, subcusping and crocketing, ornamental cresting to head of screen. Tower arch has a Gothic glazed screen reusing a C17 panel with fragments of C14 and C15 glass all assembled in 1886. Good hexagonal pulpit to north east of nave, 1635 restored 1933, arched panels with strapwork, jewels and gadrooning, shaped brackets to reading board, canted blackboard with text inscribed in arched panels, griffin bracket to tester with initials TF and TD, vine scroll and guilloche, outer arabesques with acorn drops, raised cresting above with date on shield. Part of similarly carved contemporary clerk's reading desk is incorporated into a low desk to north of pulpit. Plain C15 font, octagonal, simply moulded base, 8 round shafts around stem, deep bowl. In front of tower screen a small iron strap bound chest. In south aisle a small C18 organ. Over vestry door late C16 carved seraphs. Wall painting over chancel arch has remnants of large Doom. In chancel to north a large late C19 organ with painted pipes by Bevington and Sons, Minton encaustic tiles on chancel floor, C19 poppyheaded bench ends. In south aisle a C17 Communion table with turned legs. Over south door an iron Sexton's wheel probably used for determining Fast days. Chancel north wall a C14 effigy of a clerical figure in a restored recess, quatrefoil frieze below. Chancel floor slab to P. Yaxley, d.1706, with boldly carved arms, a brass inscription to R Yaxley, d.1474. South aisle wall: fragments of Renaissance timber monument to W. Yaxley, d.1588, reconstructed inscription, arms on scrolled surrounds, in vestry a cupboard incorporating half Ionic columns and dentilled cornice from this monument. South aisle floor brass figure of A. Felgate, d.1598, C17 slabs. South aisle west wall hatchments to Rev. S. Leeke, d.1786, Yaxley hatchments over north door. East window reconstructed 1887 using C13, C14 and C15 glass fragments, nave window heads have some C15 fragments, in south aisle a panel with a figure of St. Katherine. Late C19 figure in nave to north. (Suffolk Archaeology. vol.XXI, 1933, pp.91-7. W. Cornelious, The Church of St. Mary, Yaxley: a History and Guide, 1968).

Listing NGR: TM1209773897


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Cornelious, W, The Church of St Mary Yaxley a History and Guide, (1968)
'Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History' in Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, (1933), 91-7


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 05 Jul 2007
Reference: IOE01/16660/04
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Kenneth D'Maurney-Gibbons. Source Historic England Archive
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