SK 84 SW LONG BENNINGTON CHURCH STREET (north-east)
4/51 Church of St Swithin
(Formerly listed as Church
20.9.66 of All Saints)
Parish Church. Early C13, C14, C15, C19, restored 1902-3 by Scorer and Gamble.
Limestone ashlar, coursed rubble, blue lias, some rendering, slate roofs. West
tower, nave with north and south aisles, 2 storey south porch, rectangular
chancel. Moulded plinth runs round whole church, much restored in C20. West
tower of 3 stages, the lower of early C13, the upper C15. First stage, west
front has lancet with hood mould, second stage has narrow rectangular light.
South corner clasped by broad buttress containing stairs and 3 small lights.
North buttress narrower, of 3 stages with nook shafts, including a water leaf
capital. Bell openings on all 4 sides, each with paired pointed lights with
transom and cusping under ogee hood mould with large spandrel corbel head
supporting a pilaster running to the top of tower. Moulded eaves with battle-
ments, projecting gargoyles and 8 ornate pinnacles above. Early C14 north
aisle of coursed rubble and rendering with ashlar bands and 4 ashlar buttresses
each of 2 stsges. West windows of 2 lights with ogee cusped heads, transom,
lower round headed cusped lights all beneath a pointed hood mould. Small north
door with moulded, pointed head, hood mould and large head label stops. 2 large
pointed windows each of 3 lights with cusped ogee heads, irregular mouchettes,
transom with lower, round headed cusped lights. Moulded eaves. East window
set in coursed rubble and blue lias, of 3 lights, reticulated tracery and hood
mould. Clerestorey of 3 C15 windows, each of 3 lights under low pitched
triangular heads. 2 large gargoyles at eaves. Chancel's north side contains
single large C15 4 light window surmounted by 8 smaller cusped lights under a low
pitched triangular head. 2 large gargoyles at eaves. East end has corner
buttresses of 3 stages. East window restored in 1902-3, of 5 lights under low
pitched triangular head. Parapet runs round chancel with C15 finial. South
side of chancel contains 2 windows, to the east of 3 lights surmounted by 6
cusped lights, to the west, of 4 lights surmounted by 8 cusped lights, both with
hood moulds. Small C15 doorway with weathered capitals and head label stops.
C20 brick chimney. Early C14 east window of south aisle of 3 lights with
transom dividing the reticulated tracery. 2 stage buttresses with ornate
gables. 2 large pointed windows, both of 3 lights with reticulated tracery,
hood moulds and label stop heads. Blue lias rubble porch with ashlar quoins and
dressings. South front has a splayed doorway of 3 columnar jambs on each side,
with plain capitals and pointed arch with keeled mouldings. Above is a small
window of 2 lights with trefoil heads, hood mould and head label stops. Porch
interior has 2 stone benches and a blocked, pointed doorway in west wall
originally leading to upper floor. Completely restored early C13 doorway
with polygonal shafts and scallop and dart capitals. C17 wooden door. In upper
south-west corner the base of the staircase above protrudes. West window of
south aisle, of 3 lights, reticulated tracery divided by transom, with hood
mould. Clerestorey of 3 windows, each of 3 lights under low pitched triangular
heads. 2 large gargoyles at eaves. Much of the tracery and mouldings of
exterior of whole church restored to varying degrees in C19 and 1902-3.
Interior tower arch has very plain polygonal pilaster responds and plain pointed
arch. Tower has irregular 5 part vault with central oculus and small doorway
in south west corner. Early C13 nave arcades of 3 bays with round piers and
semi-circular responds with octagonal abaci. Capitals of north east respond
and pier to west of it are decorated with flat leaves. The rest are plain.
The round moulded arches contain keeled rolls and small heads in spandrels.
Above arcade on both sides are B corbels revealing C13 roof level. Early C13
pointed chancel arch with semi-circular responds, polygonal abaci, hood mould
and C19 head label stops. In the chancel's south wall is a large cusped and
finialed recess, and to the east, 3 aumbries. On north wall are 4 C15
sedilia of wood with carved angels as arm rests and St.John and St. Mark as
bench ends. North and south of altar are single corbels set in east wall.
C17 pulpit much restored in C19, of 6 slender panels and doorway with ornate
moulded arches and pilasters and moulded rail. C12 octagonal stone font on
short polygonal pillars with polygonal capitals with C12 stiff leaf capitals
set above. C17 screen, heavily restored in C19. Some murals visible in
fragmentary condition, especially over chancel arch. Hatchment of 1737.
Monument on chancel's south wall to the Brown family 1764-81, of inlaid
coloured marbles and ornate lettering and decoration. To the west, a moulded
stone tablet to the Brown family 1700-19. Late C19 pews.
Listing NGR: SK8435843882