This list entry was subject to a Minor Enhancement on 25/11/2020
TF 18 SW
MAIN STREET (north-west side)
Church of St. Mary
(Formerly listed as Church of St Mark)
Parish church, formally closed for worship in 2011. Built 1860-61 by R. J. Withers re-using C14 masonry. Ironstone, greenstone and limestone rubble, limestone ashlar dressings. Slate roofs with decorative ridge tiles and stone coped gables. West bellcote, nave with south porch, chancel with north vestry.
West front with two four stage buttresses with pronounced, moulded plinths and curved set-offs. Central C19 window with pointed head, two cusped ogee headed lights, mouchettes and hood mould. Moulded string course above with pilaster rising from centre of window. Moulded string course above. Pilaster narrows above, rising to centre of bellcote. Bellcote re-using C14 masonry including fragments of buttress of old tower, with two pointed openings with chamfered surrounds and hood moulds. Quatrefoil above and ashlar dressed gable with weather vane. C19 north side of nave with two rectangular windows, each with three cusped, ogee headed lights and hood moulds, flanking single three stage buttress.
North vestry with lean-to roof, and west doorway re-using C14 masonry, with Caernarvon head, chamfered surround, pointed C19 relieving arch and plank door. East end of vestry with pointed window re-using mid C14 masonry with moulded surround, two cusped, ogee headed lights with reticulated tracery and hood mould. C19 relieving arch above. Moulded eaves-above. East end of chancel with large pointed window with C14 moulded surround, three C19 cusped ogee headed lights and rich C19 tracery, hood mould. South side of chancel with single C19 window with flattened triangular head, two cusped, ogee headed lights, mouchette and hood mould. Lower parts of south side of nave medieval with C19 three stage buttress and two C19 rectangular windows with richly moulded surround and mullions, three cusped, ogee headed lights with hood mould. Gabled south porch re-using C14 masonry. Two stage buttresses to east and west with upper gables. Pointed south doorway with head and jambs moulded in one with hood mould and lattice work doors. C14 niche above with corbelled base and cusped, pointed head.
Porch interior flanked by wooden benches. C19 interior doorway with richly moulded pointed head with richly moulded jambs including filleted rolls. Hood mould with king and bishop label stops, plank doors. C19 pointed, moulded chancel arch with hood mould and head label stops. Polygonal responds with shaft rings.C19 north vestry doorway with cusped head, hood mould and head label stops, all painted ornately, and plank door. C19 aumbry to right with cusped, trefoiled head. C19 reredos with coloured mosaic panels and string course running above. C19 sedilia with cusped head in south wall. Early C12 font with beaded intersecting arcade and scalloped capitals. C20 pulpit re-using C18 turned columns with knops. Severely damaged fragment of robes of tomb effigy in vestry. C19 altar rail, pews and roofs.
St. Gilbert, founder of the Gilbertine Order was vicar 1123-89. Thomas Wimberley Mossman was vicar 1859-1885 and brought about the restoration of the church. He was an important and controversial figure in the Oxford movement, correspondent of Cardinal Newman and founder of a Brotherhood aimed at financing young men from poor backgrounds through their training at Theological College and thus into the priesthood. Mossman was also notable as an historian and active Liberal politician and a crucial figure in the early Oecumenical Movement.
The Porch contains a First World War Memorial, consisting of a white marble tablet with a black border and an inscription as follows: “West Torrington. In ever grateful memory to the men of this village who fought in the great war 1914-19. Gave their lives. were wounded. returned safely. By Their Sacrifice We Live”. The memorial is unusual in celebrating the safe return of their parishioners, including a female nurse, as well as commemorating those who lost their lives.
Listing NGR: TF1350182049