Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF ST MARY
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Statutory Address:

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

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 09684 87173


SU 08 NE PURTON CHURCH END 8/275 Church of St. Mary 17.1.55 GV I

Anglican parish church. C13, C14 and C15, restored 1872 by W. Butterfield. Coursed rubble limestone with stone slate and lead roofs. Nave and aisles, transepts and crossing with steeple. Chancel, south porch and west tower. Exterior largely C15 three and 4-light perpendicular windows, but south chapel east window curvilinear, and north aisle west window reticulated. South porch with angle buttresses, double chamfered door and transverse arch. Chancel windows 2-light in deep casement moulded reveals. East end rebuilt 1872. Central tower c.1325 with 2-light bell openings and crenellated parapet and simple octagonal spire with angle rolls. C15 west tower built on different alignment, 3 stages, with 3-light bell openings with perforated stone screens. C15 west window and door, with 3 canopied niches and single niche each on north and south sides, all containing C20 statuary. Angle buttresses with sundial and north stair turret. Crocketed corner pinnacles. This unusual arrangement of spire and west tower only occurs elsewhere at Wanborough and Ormskirk. Interior: Nave of 3 bays. C13 round columns and capitals, with possible C12 east respond on south, and with stiff leaf on north side, heightened and carrying later C14 arches. Open arch braced collar trussed rafter roof with collar purlin. Tall west tower arch on 3-shafts, also later C14 or C15. Crossing C14 with reserved chamfered arches without capitals. Octopartite vault under tower. Transepts also with open trussed rafter roofs and arches to east chapels, Piscina in south transept. Chancel C13, one blocked window on north side only. Steps to east. Timber barrel vault and sedilia, and triple piscina. Easter sepulchre on north side. This work probably C14 reworked C19. Fine very elaborate crocketed canopied niches on east wall with angel corbels. South chancel chapel of 1-bay, with pitched roof. South aisle also with independently pitched open trussed rafter roof with archbraces and collars. North aisle, low pitched roof on chamfered ties and purlins. North chancel chapel now organ chamber. Low arch to transept. Chamber over porch with fireplace and angle stair. Fittings: Simple octagonal limestone font at west end of nave. Pulpit open C19 oak Gothic work with tester, carved tracery on soffit. Wallpaintings: Nave arcade painted with blue and yellow mouldings, and painted red coffering on soffit intrados. Capitals background to stiff leaf coloured blue. South aisle has freely interpreted Judgement scene over transept arch. Figure displaying stigmata over south door with waterwheel etc in background. Two further scenes in south transept. South chapel has restored Death of the Virgin. Glass: Much fragmented C14-C16 glass assembled in south transept south window, and in head of north side west window. Sculpture: Arch to north chancel chapel has two C13-C14 heads probably reset, on jambs. Small Annunciation scene, damaged, on crossing pier. North aisle has recessed C14 niche and similar niche in south porch, both with C20 figures. Monuments: North aisle: wall tablet, C18. Stone slab on veined marble. Pediment and bracketed shelf with apron. To SAMUEL SHEPPARD, died 1782. On east wall, circular tablet, white marble on black. Ivy wreath. To MATTHEW BIVASH, died 1839. Tablet, white marble with fluted pilasters, to JOHN SADLER and family. Also 6 various C19-C20 tablets and brasses on west wall. South aisle: tablet, C18. White stone on veined marble. Broken double pediment, bracketed shelf and apron, to ANTHONY BATHE, died 1769, and family. Oval tablet, white on black marble, draped urn over waiste shield, to WILLIAM LARGE, died 1810(?). Tablet, 1725, limestone. Inscription in pilastered aedicule, broken segmental pediment over and painted dado, to GEORGE STEPHENS, died 1712 and family. South transept: Wall monument, C17. Black and white marbles. Garlanded oval inscription, cherubs supporting arms devolving into acanthus second garland knotted at base, to NEVILL MASKELYNE, died 1679. Chaste tablet, grey and white marble. Latin inscription on framed panel, pediment and acroteria, to NEVIL MASKELYNE, astronomer royal, died 1811. Wall monument C19, alabaster, with slate panel. Gilded inscription with eared architrave. Fruit trail at sides. Pulvinus and pediment with painted crest with two crested helms and obelisks at ends. To ANTHONY MASKELYNE, barrister, died 1879. In chancel: wall tablet, 1845, black and white marbles, by Franklin of Purton, heavy lettering in panel, cornice and arms over. Wall monument, C18, white marble. Pedimented panel with moulded base. To CATHERINE ASHLEY and family, died 1726. Crest over. South Chapel: wall monument, C18. Veined marble with black detail. Inscription within pilasters on dado, with pediment - To THOMAS RICHMOND - and wall monument, C18, marble, open pediment over raised inscription with rounded head, pilasters and apron below. To TOBY & ANN (illegible) died 1718 and 1736. Oval tablet, C18, by Franklin. White marble on black. Draped urn over shield with inscription, to JOHN BRYANT, died 1793. North Transept: Tablet, C18 white marble on black. Oval panel with wreath on top, inscription not legible. Another similar, square panel with pediment and apron, also not read. Under west tower, charity boards, 1778 (Hissocks Leaze), 1896 (Churchyard extension) and 3 further large boards in ringing chamber, also former reredos triptych. Painting: over altar, painting of Last Supper, Flemish, and on north wall, an Adoration. (Pevsner, Buildings of England: Wiltshire.)

Listing NGR: SU0968487173


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Wiltshire, (1963)


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: 05 Aug 2001
Reference: IOE01/02535/03
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Chris Pocock. Source Historic England Archive
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