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


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Statutory Address:

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

County Durham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NZ 13102 20638


STAINDROP FRONT STREET NZ 1320 (North side) 18/128 Church of St. Mary 14/9/66


Originally dedicated to St. Gregory. Parish church; Collegiate early C15 to c.1544. Some pre-Conquest fabric in nave; early C12 arcades; aisles, tower and chancel added; C13 transepts, nave lengthened, west tower added and chancel extended; north vestry added. C14 aisles altered (1343 licence to Ralph Neville for 3 chantries) and porch added. Early C15 clerestory and top stage of tower. Circa 1849 restoration including many renewed windows by Cory. Mostly sandstone rubble, some very coarse; south aisle dressed blocks; plinth, quoins and ashlar dressings; roof not visible; stone-flagged porch roof. 4-bay nave with west tower, clasping aisles, south porch and north transept; small room clasping east corner of south aisle; 3-bay chancel with north vestry at east end. Steeply-gabled porch has wide 2-centred chamfered arch under c.1900 sundial in gable peak; small blocked lights in returns. C19 Decorated tracery in 3-light aisle, 2-light north aisle, 3-light transept east windows and large 5-light east window. 2-centred-arched north door has eroded animal finial, perhaps lion, under short column. West window of south aisle: stepped lancets with plate tracery in 2-centred surround. West cusped 3-light window in north aisle with beakhead-stopped dripmould; 3 cusped lights in clerestory windows. Vestry has elaborately-cusped 2-light windows, with carved spandrels on ground floor, and lancets above; and Perpendicular 3-light east window. 3-stage tower has 2-centred-arched door in west stair turret; lancet in high first stage; paired lancets in short second stage; renewed Y-tracery in corbelled-out belfry stage. Buttresses, clasping at corners;parapets with chamfered coping except for roll- moulded south aisle and embattled tower. First chancel buttress obscures blocked priest's door. Gargoyles on south.

Interior: porch has side stone benches; wide-chamfered round-headed surround to renewed double doors; stone vault on 3 wide ribs. Nave, tower and north aisle rubble; south aisle coursed blocks; chancel painted plaster; ashlar dressings. Roof of nave cambered beams with central pendants from low ridge, and single purlins; horizontal brace in north-east corner; chancel roof renewed in similar style with painted decoration and frieze. Round-arched double- chamfered nave arcades on cylindrical piers, with moulded bases and varied C12 capitals, to 3 east bays; drip strings with one head stop on north, and nutmeg decoration on south; some keeled end pilasters; square piers to east of fourth bay which has fillets on pilasters supporting double-chamfered round arch; pyramid stops on outer chamfer and on similarly-chamfered 2-centred arches to open tower. One small round-headed pre-Conquest opening, deeply splayed, interrupted by first pier and springing on south; blocked opening opposite of same shape. Blocked round-headed door in west wall of tower, and 2-centred and corbelled heads to blocked doors-above. Line of earlier steeply-pitched roof marked by strings. Chancel has thin, wide 2-centred arch uncomfortably set on impost string, damaged moulded capitals and pilasters with fillets, the west face with fleur-de-lys finial on dog-tooth dripmould. 2-centred vestry door has 2 hollow chamfers under dripmould; small cusped triple lights and squint with re-used grave cover high above to upper vestry, possibly priest's chamber.

Triple sedilia with moulded shafts and cusped heads, all with fillets, on south, has vigorous foliage capitals and one corbel, and one head corbel;- small blocked 2-light north opening possibly aumbry. Some windows have rere arches; lancets have trefoil inner heads.

North transept has 2 aumbries and 2 piscinae, one cusped and one cusped and pierced; blocked and mutilated 2-centred opening to north pier of chancel arch. Aumbry in north wall of north aisle below large blocked square. South aisle has cusped east piscina; possible site of aumbry obscured by fittings. 2- centred-arched entrance to south-east room, with stone vault on 2 closely-set ribs; triple sedilia. Monuments include tomb recess in south aisle; C13 lady and young boy; C14 of Euphemia de Clavering under large elaborate crocketed gable. C19 iron railings at west enclosing 1. large wooden chest, much decorated, with effigies of Henry Neville, died 1560, and second and third wives: by John Tarbotons; 2. large alabaster chest, much traceried, with effigies of Ralph Neville, died 1425, and his 2 wives. At north-west, effigy of Henry Vane, died 1792, on low relief showing Raby Castle as restored by him; his wife Margaret, in Gothic surround, and his daughter-in-law Katharine, died 1800 and 1807, all 3 by Robert Cocke in white marble; over south door, marble bust to John Lee, Attorney General, died 1793, and his wife Mary, died 1813, by Nollekens.

Much C19 glass; small medieval roundel in vestry. Furnishings include Jacobean altar table; C15 collegiate choir stalls with poppyheads, Tudor roses on arms and on misericords, and blind traceried backs; pre-Reformation screen with slender moulded uprights, and cusped depressed ogee arches. Octagonal C14 font with slightly concave faces; each side of bowl with shield, blank except for shield on east which quarters arms of Neville, with Clifford and another.

Listing NGR: NZ1309720636


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

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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: 08 Apr 2002
Reference: IOE01/04868/13
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Derek Le Mare. Source Historic England Archive
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