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Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST GILES
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Statutory Address:

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

Greater London Authority
Hillingdon (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 07950 86264


804/14/200 HIGH ROAD 08-MAY-50 ICKENHAM (West side) CHURCH OF ST GILES

II* Nave and chancel are late C14, the nave possibly slightly earlier than the chancel. Bell turret added or rebuilt in the C15. N aisle added by William Say c.1575-80, and the S porch around the same time. N vestry added as a mortuary chapel c.1640-50, probably by the Harringtons of Swakeleys. Restored in the C19 when the chancel arch was rebuilt and the N arcade inserted or rebuilt. W extension and extensive restoration of 1958 by E C Butler.

MATERIALS: Flint rubble and brick with dressings of stone and brick. Rendered on the S side of the nave and on the chancel N and S walls. Timber porch. Tiled roofs. Weatherboarded and shingled belfry.

PLAN: Nave, chancel, very large N aisle extending along part of the chancel, NW mortuary chapel now vestry, S porch, W extension. Bell turret over the centre of the nave.

EXTERIOR: The extension of 1958, which added two bays at the W end of the nave and continued the line of the roof, but left the bell turret and porch in place, has given the church a symmetrical appearance it did not originally possess as the turret and porch are now in the centre of the church. The S nave wall is rendered and there is no immediately obvious external sign that the church has been extended. To the E of the S porch there is a C14 two-light window with a pointed head and two trefoiled lights. Another heavily restored C14 window to the W of the porch, with two additional C20 windows like that towards the E in the western part of the nave. There are two small, post-medieval dormers with wooden cusped Y-tracery in the eastern part of the S nave roof. The chancel has large, late C14 S window and a three-light late C14 E window with vertical tracery. The N side of the church is dominated by the large, late C16 N aisle. Built of brick, it has twin gables at right angles to the nave and chancel, each with an oval brick window. Brick E door with a square hood mould. C14 windows are reset in E and N walls of the aisle. The N mortuary chapel has heavy brick buttresses, a brick oval window, possibly reset from the W end of the aisle, and small, probably late C19 rectangular windows with plain lintels. The W vestry complex of 1958 is also brick, of 1 ½ stories with dormers and a N gable with a brick oval window echoing those of the N aisle. Timber framed S porch is late C16 in origin, but was heavily restored and altered in 1962, with a new outer opening reusing the C14 former S door, new framing in the gable and altered side openings. The dwarf brick walls it stands on have also been renewed. The nave S doorway is C14 and has a C20 door.

INTERIOR: The interior is dominated by the substantial barn-like roofs and the massive supporting structure of the bell-cot, now situated in the centre of the nave. The 2-bay N arcade is in a C13 style with a round pier and triple shafted responds with moulded capitals. It was built or rebuilt in the C19. A slot for a large diagonal brace in the N aisle bridging beam suggests that it replaced a timber arcade. At the W end of the original N wall, under the bell frame, is a blocked C14 window. There is a mid C20 door to the 1958 W extension at the W end of the N nave wall. The chancel arch was also rebuilt in the C19 and is in a C14 style with polygonal responds and moulded capitals. The late C17 NW mortuary chapel (now a vestry) has on its N, W and S sides a continuous series of arched recesses. They have Tuscan pilasters and with a continuous hoodmould above. Strapwork ornament survives on the pilasters in places. The chapel ceiling is plastered, and there is an oval oculus to the North.

The chancel has a trussed rafter roof with a single tie beam, probably late C14. The eastern part of the nave roof is C15 and is also trussed rafter type with two king post trusses with curved braces. There is a boarded canopy of honour over the E bay, and some, probably C15 or C16, chevron paintwork survives on the roof in this area. The W end of the nave has a similar roof, apparently made up from old timber (VCH) in 1958. The late C16 N aisle roof is comprised of two gabled bays, each with a queen post truss and curved windbraces. The late C15 bell-cot is supported on a massive frame with posts with cross-beams and curved braces, and has an internal ringing floor above the beams, now disused.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: There are traces of colour on the E end of the nave roof and painted foliage decoration in strips on the chancel S wall. C14 piscina in the chancel, and another in the SE corner of the nave. Medieval stoup in the S porch. C14 S door reused as outer door of porch. Excellent late C17 mahogany font with a contemporary cover with a life-sized and very realistic gilded dove. The octagonal bowl has a curved lower part with applied leaf ornament and carved, floral strings; the polygonal base has gilded cherub heads, leaf ornament and four scrolled feet; it was used as a tea caddy at Swakeleys for a period in the C19 and early C20. C17 communion table in the W mortuary chapel/vestry. Chancel rails, polygonal pulpit and other woodwork by C R Davies of 1926-8. Late C19 chancel windows in the style of Kempe, windows in W extension 1965 and 1971 by Alan Younger.

Monuments: Robert Clayton, d. 1665, a very fine, veined marble swaddled infant found in the churchyard in 1921 and now returned inside. The inscription also records the death of his mother shortly after his birth; he is also commemorated at Bletchingley (Surrey) on the elaborate monument by Richard Cowtcher to his parents; his father Sir Robert was sometime Lord Mayor of London. Some good C17 and C18 wall tablets, including to members of the Shoredicke and Harington families. Several brasses including Edmund Shoredicke (d.1584) and his wife, and William Say d.1582 and wife. There are also a number of good ledger slabs. Medieval coffin lid in the porch. A plaster bust of the Earl of Essex, formerly on the C17 screen at Swakeleys, stands in the blocked window in the nave. Memorial to Mrs Clarke d.1816 by John Bacon Jnr, and two by Thomas Bankes to other Clarkes d.1796 and 1800.

HISTORY: There was a church in Ickenham in the early C13. The church, then only comprising the nave and chancel, was rebuilt in the C14, possibly in two phases, with the nave slightly earlier than the chancel. The bell turret was added at what was then the W end of the nave in the late C15, and also at this time the nave roof was rebuilt. The large N aisle was added c.1575-80 by William Say, to whom there is a brass in the church. The C16 N arcade may have been of timber, as there is a slot for a diagonal brace in the N aisle roof that could have related to a post from a lost arcade. The NW mortuary chapel was added in the mid C17 by the Harringtons of Swakeleys. In 1914, 30 coffins were removed from the niches in the mortuary chapel and reburied in the churchyard. There was some refurnishing in the late C17, when the font was installed. The church was restored in the C19. The chapel was converted into a vestry. In 1958 the W end of the nave was lengthened and a new NW vestry complex was added. The render was removed from the chancel E wall in 1962, when the porch was also restored and glazed.

SOURCES: VCH Middlesex 4 (1971), 106-8 Buildings of England, London 3: North-West (2002), 338-9 RCHM Middlesex 1937

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St Giles, Ickenham is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Parish church with C14 nave and chancel and C15 bellcot, with good post-medieval additions and a sympathetic extension of 1958 by E C Butler, with further restoration in 1962. * C16 N aisle of c.1575-80. * Mid C17 mortuary chapel for the Harringtons of Swakeleys is most unusual. * Interesting features include the very fine C17 font. * Among interesting monuments, that to the infant Robert Clayton, d.1665, is of exceptional note. * A very atmospheric church, retaining its village atmosphere, within the considerably altered context of Middlesex.


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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: 02 Mar 2002
Reference: IOE01/06448/27
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Adam Watson. Source Historic England Archive
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