Church of St Mary the Virgin, Ewell
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
- Statutory Address:
- London Road, Ewell
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- Statutory Address:
- London Road, Ewell
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Epsom and Ewell (District Authority)
- Non Civil Parish
- National Grid Reference:
Parish church, rebuilt in 1847-1848 by Henry Clutton. The west porch was added in 1908. A fire in 1973, chiefly affecting the north aisle led to rebuilding work in this area, the main change being the insertion of a horizontal partition in the former north chapel.
Reasons for Designation
The Church of St Mary the Virgin in Ewell, rebuilt in 1847-1848 by Henry Clutton, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* it is a good example of an ecclesiologically-inspired church of the late 1840s; * it retains a number of fixtures from the old church dating from the C15 to the C18.
* it possesses group value with other listed buildings and structures within the vicinity, along with the scheduled remains of the old church.
The church was rebuilt in the 1840s in order to create extra accommodation. The old church has 492 seats and the new one 893 (of which 167 were free and unappropriated). It was consecrated on 24 August 1848. The cost estimate (quoted in the ICBS records) was £4,700 to which the Incorporated Church Building Society granted £200. Between planning and execution an important change was the substitution of Swanage stone as the facing material for flint. Sir George L Glyn, the then vicar, was probably the driving forcing behind the rebuilding, the Glyns having played a long and important role in the life of Ewell, hence the series of monuments to them in the chancel (William Lewen (see above) had married into the family). The reredos of 1893 was the gift of Sir Gervas Glyn.
The designer of the rebuilt church, Henry Clutton of Hartswood (1814-1895), was the grandson of William Clutton (b 1740), founder of a prosperous country and land agents business based at Ockenden Hall, Cuckfield. Henry was made partner in 1838 at the age of 24, at which time the business, based at Whitehall Place in London, was named R & H Clutton. He practiced as architect and surveyor, stepping down from the company in 1856, but continued in the profession until his retirement in 1882. He was buried at Sidlow Bridge, Reigate, Surrey.
The builder of the church was Mr G Myers, of Ordnance Wharf, Lambeth, with glazing and staining undertaken by Mr W Killick, of Ewell.
Parish church rebuilt in 1847-1848 by Henry Clutton. The west porch was added in 1908. A fire in 1973, chiefly affecting the north aisle led to rebuilding work in this area, the main change being the insertion of a horizontal partition in the former north chapel.
MATERIALS: coursed, rock-faced limestone from (according to the ICBS records) from Swanage. Red clay tile roofs.
PLAN: nave, lower chancel, south aisle, wider north aisle, south and west porches, tower to the west of the north aisle, north chancel aisle and organ chamber, south-east vestry.
EXTERIOR: all the various parts of the churches are placed under their own separate roofs, as was required by mid-C19 ecclesiological taste: the aisles and south vestry are under their own separate gables. The style of the building derives from the medieval architecture of about 1300 and the early C14 with mainly two-light windows with cusped circles and trefoils in their heads. At the east end of the chancel is a five-light window with a spherical triangle in the head which in turn contains three smaller, cusped triangles. The west end has a four-light Geometrical window. The tower is placed to the west of the north aisle and has three stages, has two-light belfry windows and is crowned by an embattled parapet with tall corner pinnacles. There is no clerestory but the nave has additional lighting in the form of two, three-light timber dormers on each side.
INTERIOR. the nave and aisles are separated by arcades which have alternating round and octagonal piers carrying double-chamfered arches. On the south the arcade has five bays, and on the north four, reflecting the fact that part of the tower occupies the extreme west end of the north aisle. The nave has an arch-braced roof, plastered between the rafters, with king-posts and curved struts above the collar: the aisle roofs are similar.
The screen between the nave and chancel is a much-restored and altered late-medieval one with brattished cresting to the pierced wainscot and one-light upper openings which have with ogee arches and florid tracery. There is a west gallery, on timber posts, running across both nave and aisles and which has a front with trefoil-headed arches. The east end is distinguished by a large opus sectile (tiled) reredos of 1893 with a florid stone frame containing a depiction of the Last Supper, flanked on either side by a pair of Evangelists. The late medieval font, of conventional octagonal design with quatrefoils on the bowl, survives from the previous church. The marble and alabaster pulpit is a florid polychromatic piece of 1897 with figures under trefoil-headed arches and a base of marble shafts. The square-ended Victorian pews are quite plain but the stalls have shaped ends and open traceried frontals. Numerous monuments from the old church were transferred to the new one and are sited at the east end of the aisles, in the chancel and under the tower. They include C16 brasses but the most imposing monument is in the chancel and is of white marble and commemorates Sir William Lewen (d 1721), showing him as a reclining figure in a wig: the monument is framed by Corinthian pilasters with an open segmental pediment and, below this cherubs' heads emerging from a cloth. A large benefactions board dated 1849 is mounted on the north aisle's north wall.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Brodie, A, Felstead, A, Franklin, J, Pinfield, L, Oldfield, J, Dictionary of British Architects 1834-1914, (2011), p. 396
Myatt-Price, EM, St Mary the Virgin Ewell Parish Church: 150th Anniversary Guide Book, (1998)
Pevsner, N, Nairn, I Rev. by Cherry, The Buildings of England: Surrey, (1971), pp 223-4
'New Church of St. Mary, Ewell' in Illustrated London News, , Vol. 334, (Saturday September 9th 1848), p. 156
'Notes in the provinces' in The Builder, (Nov 6th 1847), p. 533
RH & RW Clutton - Our History, accessed 17th December 2018 from https://www.rhrwclutton.com/our-history.html
Incorporated Church Building Society papers, Lambeth Palace Library, file 3805
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