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List Entry Summary

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


List entry Number: 1193595



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

County: Oxfordshire

District: South Oxfordshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Dorchester

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 18-Jul-1963

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 248073

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


DORCHESTER HIGH STREET SU5794 (East side) 5/44 Abbey Church of St. Peter and 18/07/63 St. Paul


Abbey church. C12, C13, C14, tower 1602; restored c.1845 by James Cranston, 1846-53 by William Butterfield and 1859-74 by George Gilbert Scott. Coursed squared limestone rubble with ashlar dressings; stone-slate, old plain-tile and lead roofs. Aisled chancel, nave with south aisle, west tower and south porch. Chancel, which was extended one bay beyond its aisles, c.1340, has deep buttresses, a carved string, to north, and 3 large windows with unique all-over tracery: north, a Jesse Tree; east, 6 lights of Reticulation with a central buttress below a wheel restored by Butterfield; south, 4 lights of elongated Reticulation, with a transom, above 4 small sedilia windows in deep arched recesses. Early C14 south chancel aisle, with gabled buttresses and a south-east angle turret with stone spirelet, has, to east, a pair of 3-light windows with spherical triangles and, to south, four 3-light windows with cusped Intersecting tracery. South wall of late C14 nave aisle has 4 similar windows with plainer buttresses. The C13 south-west angle buttress has 2 tiers of niches, below tall gables, and a stone spirelet. Early Perpendicular south door is in a C15/C16 open porch with Tudor-arched entrance. Similar Perpendicular west door is below a 4-light window with cusped Intersecting tracery, restored by Scott. 3-stage crenellated west tower was largely rebuilt 1602 (date near top), with 3 chequered stone and flint octagonal corner turrets and a deep moulded plinth, but incorporates C12 work in the south-east stair turret and several round-arched windows; belfry openings have plain Y-tracery. C12 north wall of nave has one restored tall Romanesque window, 2 inserted square-headed 3-light C14 windows with Reticulated tracery, and a small blocked Decorated doorway. Return to remains of former north transept has a C12 doorway (probably altered), with detached shafts, interlacing capitals and geometrical tympanum. C17 north wall has an arched window with plain mullions and transoms. Narrow 4-bay north chancel aisle is early C13, raised late C13, and has 2- and 3-light windows with some shafted jambs and mullions plus Geometrical tracery. Interior: The rear arches of the 3 sanctuary windows have rows of ball-flower ornament, and the tracery is encrusted with figure carvings, most notably the Jesse Tree to north. The triple sedilia and piscina have elaborate stone canopies, beneath which are cusped triangular windows. Earlier double piscina to the west. 3-bay late Cl3/early C14 chancel arcades have composite piers and richly-moulded arches. North chancel aisle has large piscina and row of 3 aumbries, plus unused early C13 vaulting shafts with dogtooth ornament. Arch to north transept has foliage capitals. Wide south chancel aisle has C19 stone vault in 2 eastern bays with central row of columns. Elaborate canopied piscina and doorway in south-east corner. Plain semi-circular north and south crossing arches may be Cll/C12; western arch is lighter with a pointed Transitional arch springing from shafted responds with palmette-leaf capitals. 3-bay late C14 nave arcade has much plainer piers and arches; one pier bearing a large carved image bracket. East wall of south aisle has blocked window of transept and a small C14 doorway. Roofs are all C19 with some crown-post trusses. Sanctuary windows have much contemporary glass (panels, figures and armorial); mid C13 roundel in east window of north chapel; C14 fragments in a north window of nave. 2 windows by Hardman (1830 and 1842) in south choir aisle, plus 2 by Mayer of Munich (1899); east window wheel by O'Connor to Butterfields designs (1847). C14 wall painting in south aisle. Pulpit and pews by Butterfield; early C16 choir stalls with carved poppy-head ends; base of C15 parclose screen; C17 communion table; two C17 chests; bier dated 1685. Romanesque lead font with figures beneath arcading. Monuments include 2 medieval coffins, 4 fragmentary C15/C16 brasses and 4 stone effigies, the earliest, of c.1280, a fine cross-legged figure; also many C17 and C18 stone and marble ledgers. (Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, pp.576-583).

Listing NGR: SU5793294196

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Sherwood, J , The Buildings of England: Oxfordshire, (1974), 576-583

National Grid Reference: SU 57927 94196


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End of official listing