Church of St Juthware and St Mary


Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II*

List Entry Number: 1119266

Date first listed: 11-Nov-1966

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Oct-2013

Statutory Address: Church Lane, Halstock, Beaminster


Ordnance survey map of Church of St Juthware and St Mary
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Statutory Address: Church Lane, Halstock, Beaminster

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

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Halstock

National Grid Reference: ST5365608378


Anglican parish church. The west tower is C15; the rest of church was rebuilt in 1770. The nave and chancel were rebuilt in 1845-6 by Thomas Stent to the designs of AWN Pugin. Vestry added in the late C20.

Reasons for Designation

The Church of St Juthware and St Mary which dates from the C15 and mid-C19 is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * Architectural interest: it is a harmonious, now largely mid-C19 design, that is faithful to medieval precedents and represents a thorough understanding of Decorated Gothic; * Interior: despite some loss of church furnishings, it is an attractive and spaciously-arranged interior which retains C19 fittings such as the font, seating and floor tiles; * Fittings: the encaustic tiles in the sanctuary, if they do date from 1846-7, are quite early examples of the tile-making revival that occurred in the C19; * Group value: with a number of C17 and C18 listed chest tombs in the churchyard.


In Old English Halstock means ‘holy outlying farmstead’, so-called because it belonged to Sherborne monastery by grant of King Aethelwulf. The oldest part of St Mary's Church is the C15 tower, although it is probable that there may have been an earlier church on the site. Except for the tower, most of the church was rebuilt in 1770 following a fire. In 1845-6 Yeovil architect Thomas Stent rebuilt the nave and probably the chancel to AWN Pugin’s designs. A series of drawings for the church, dated 1847 and signed by Pugin, are held at the county record office. These depict the church very much as built, but the records of the Incorporated Church Building Society in connection with a grant for the work indicate that Stent was the architect involved. It is probable that Stent employed Pugin's designs.

In 1959 a chapel was created in the north aisle dedicated to the Saxon saint St Juthware, a C5 or C6 martyr. Her remains are said to have been buried in the original church as a focus for pilgrimage but were later re-interred in Sherborne; they disappeared during the Reformation. Stained glass, designed by Sally Politzer, was installed in the west windows in 2012, and in July that same year the church was re-dedicated by the Bishop of Sherborne as the Church of St Juthware and St Mary.


Anglican parish church. The west tower is C15; the rest of church was rebuilt in 1770. The nave and chancel were rebuilt in 1845-6 by Thomas Stent to the designs of AWN Pugin. Vestry added in the late C20.

MATERIALS: constructed of local Forest Marble stone rubble with Hamstone dressings, under stone-slate roofs with stone copings to the gables. Some re-roofing in the early C21.

PLAN: it is orientated west to east and comprises a west tower, nave, chancel, north aisle and south porch. At the north-east corner is a late-C20 addition which serves as a vestry.

EXTERIOR: the tower is attached to the west end, with a square stair turret at its north-east corner. It has three stages, each marked externally by a string course, and there are diagonal buttresses to the lowest stage. The C19 west doorway has a pointed arch, and contains a pair of studded timber doors with strap hinges. The west window has two trefoil-cusped lights and is C19. To the upper stage are two-light bell openings with vertical tracery and a quatrefoil to the head. Carved gargoyles are set diagonally on the corners and there is an embattled parapet. The nave is of three bays, without a clerestory, and has three-light windows with trefoil tracery under segmental-arched heads with a trefoil at the top of each light. The label stops to all the windows remain uncarved. The north aisle windows are of a similar design. The south elevation to the chancel has a two-light window with Y-tracery and a falchion above; the label stops are uncarved. The four-light east window has elaborated Y, trefoil and falchion tracery, and three trefoils in a roundel in its head. The south porch has a pointed-arched entrance, with respond shafting and ovolo- and wave-mouldings. Above the doorway is a small niche with a trefoil head and a label.

INTERIOR: the four-bay north arcade has short octagonal piers and arches with two shallow-sunk segmental mouldings. The C15 tower arch has two chamfered orders, the outer is continuous and the inner springs from attached shafts with splayed capitals and moulded bases. It houses five bells; three of cast by the Purdue family at nearby Closworth (Somerset) in the C17. The chancel arch is mid-C19. It has two respond orders of chamfered and half-octagonal form and a pointed arch of two orders with a label over.

The roofs are simple and unadorned. The nave and chancel have close-coupled rafters and scissor braces to the principals, the braces coming down onto large, square corbels that remain uncarved; the aisle has a plain collar-braced roof.

FITTINGS: C19 octagonal stone font with convex lower part, an octagonal stem, and chamfered base. Approximately two-thirds of the seating survives, all with plain rectangular bench ends. There are red and black quarry tiles to the floors of the nave and the aisle; the sanctuary has red, buff and blue encaustic tiles, possibly of 1846-7. Wall-monuments: nave, in white marble and slate, (1) To Rev. W Thompson, 1842. (2) To Mr Joseph Gill, formerly of the Island of Nevis, who departed this life on the 18th Day of April 1828, aged 80 years. The stained glass in the east window dates from 1874 and is in memory of Mary Russell Meredith, the wife of Rev. RF Meredith; one of the windows in the nave commemorates churchwarden, Walter Holloway, and depicts St Francis of Assisi with Holloway’s pet spaniel at his feet. The stained glass in the west window dates from 2012.


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

Legacy System number: 105804

Legacy System: LBS


Books and journals
Inventory of Dorset, (1952), 121
Pevsner, N, Newman, J, The Buildings of England: Dorset, (1972), 120-1
Halstock, accessed from
Halstock, St Mary , accessed from
Architectural History Practice, 'Rediscovering our Parish Churches' English Heritage and the Diocese of Salisbury Partnership Project. Halstock, St Mary, 2008,

End of official listing