NORTHLEACH WITH OFF THE MARKET PLACE
EASTINGTON (west side), Northleach
Church of St. Peter and St. Paul
Anglican parish church. C12, C14, rebuilt in Perpendicular style
C15, largely at the expense of the wool merchant John Fortey.
Restored by James Brooks 1877-84, further restoration 1961. Plan;
chancel with chapels on north and south. Vestry on north. Nave
with north and south aisle, large projecting south porch towards
west end of south aisle. Tower at west end. Ashlar, stone slate
and lead roofing. Chancel, basic structure c1350; diagonal
buttresses, moulded plinth, 5-light east window with Perpendicular
tracery. Image niche above window. Two 4-light windows with
Perpendicular tracery within casement-moulded Tudor-arched
surrounds mouldings. Three-light window with Perpendicular tracery
within pointed surround on north. Flat-roofed C19 vestry on north
with 3-light window with cinquefoil-headed lights within
rectangular casement-moulded surround on west. Pointed 2-light
window within casement-moulded surround on north. Clerestory to
nave built by John Fortey c1445-1455. Five large Tudor-arched
lights with Perpendicular tracery along sides. Nine-light window
at east gable. Battlemented parapets with crocketed finials.
Image niche pinnacle at centre of east gable end. North aisle
rebuilt c1450. Moulded plinth, diagonal buttresses at corners.
Buttresses with offsets between windows. Four 4-light cinquefoil-
headed lights with Perpendcular tracery. Hoods over windows with
carved human and beasts' head stops. Studded double north door
with fillets within heavily moulded Tudor-arched surround with
hollow-moulded hood with stops in the form of Kings' heads. Three-
light windows at east and west ends of aisle. Window at west end
with simple Perpendicular tracery. Battlemented parapet with
grotesques from string. Tower; c1400. Four diminishing stages
with diagonal buttresses extending up to parapet level. Buttresses
contain image niches with crocketed canopies. C20 double door with
studded fillets set back within deep moulded surround at west end.
Ornamental buttresses decorated with heraldic shields and engaged
crocketed pinnacles either side. Blind tracery above door. Single
lights with trefoil-headed and cinquefoil-headed lights with
crocketed canopies to second and third stages. Wrought-iron clock
on south side of third stage. Four ogee-curved crocketed surrounds
to openings up to fourth stage. Central openings with stone
louvres. Flanking blind openings with image brackets. Projecting
grotesques between openings. Hollow-moulded strings decorated with
grotesque heads between stages. Panelled and pierced battlements.
String below with projecting gargoyles and carved heads. South
aisle; built 1460-1480 at same time as porch. West end of south
aisle overlaps tower. Bay left of south porch; with diagonal
buttress with square crocketed pinnacle. Pointed 5-light window
with Perpendicular tracery and hood with head stops at west end.
Four-light window with transom and Perpendicular-tracery with
finely carved cusping, small quatrefoils and hood with head stops
to south facing bay. Two bays right of porch with windows matching
bay left of porch. Eroded C17-early C18 monument right of porch.
Similar Perpendicular windows to Bicknell or Lady Chapel right, but
without transom. Parapet with crocketed pinnacles. Projecting 2-
storey porch with diagonal buttresses with offsets. Image niches
with crocketed canopies set within buttresses. Stair turret capped
by an elegant crocketed fleche at north-west corner. Double cast
iron gates within casement-moulded pointed surround. Crocketed
ogee-curved hood with stops in the form of a man's and a woman's
head. Seated statue of Our Lady, under projecting cusped canopy
above. Two cinquefoil-headed panels with pointed crocketed hoods
and engaged crocketed pinnacles, either side of statue. Panels
immediately right and left of statue lit by single lights with
wooden slats, outer panels formerly acted as image niches. Further
seated figure under projecting elaborate crocketed canopy at centre
above. Parapet with hollow-moulded string decorated with finely
carved bosses and angels. Crocketed bell turret at apex of gable.
Crocketed pinnacles. Plain parapet with crocketed bell turret and
pinnacles. Single light, trefoil-headed and cinquefoil-headed
lights in right and left-hand returns. Porch interior; 2 bays of
vaulting rising from engaged columns with carved capitals, with
tiercerons and sculptured bosses and blind tracery. Panelled walls
with image brackets supported by sculptured corbels. Stone seats
alongside walls. Flag floor including some C18 ledges. Double C20
door with blind tracery and decorative wrought mid C20 iron
decoration in form of roses with initials 'E R'. Moulded surround
with hood with large head stops. Image niche above with canopy.
The upper room of the porch contains a fireplace with bread oven at
back and projecting stone lintel, supported on flat-chamfered stone
corbels. Stone candle brackets either side. Graffitti and
scratched rosettes around walls. Early studded plank door within
4-centred arched surround.
Church interior; 5-bay nave arcade with remarkable concave-sided
octagonal piers and capitals rising up to form 4-centred arches.
Name 'HENRIE WINCHOMBE' incised on easternmost pier on south,
possibly that of the master mason. Almost identical arcades at
Chipping Campden and similar ones at Winchombe. Tall tower arch of
3 orders the inner two of which have engaged columns with moulded
capitals. Double-chamfered pointed chancel arch, and from chancel
to north-east chapel two pointed arches forming arcade with central
octagonal pier dividing chancel from Bicknell or Lady Chapel.
Wall dividing south aisle from Lady Chapel thought to contain C12
masonry. Triangular-headed archway through wall to Lady Chapel.
Double squint from Lady Chapel to chancel. C20 plank door within
C14 cusped doorway from chancel to vestry. Early plank door to
first floor of porch within pointed roll-moulded and casement-
moulded surround with moulded hood and head stops. Plank door
within pointed surround from south-west corner of north aisle to
tower. Lierne vaulted roof with central bell-rope hole at base of
tower. C15 five-bay roof to nave comprising braced moulded tie
beam supported by wall posts in moulded stone corbels. C15 lean-to
roof to north aisle with intersecting moulded beams with gilded
bosses. Wall posts supported on corbels with carved faces.
Similar lean-to roof to south aisle. Decorative carving to
spandrels of brackets linking wall posts to principal rafter. C20
painted 4½-bay arch-braced roof to chancel. C20 two-bay roof to
Lady Chapel, and north-east chapel with carved stone corbels
designed to match that of nave and north-east chapel . One corbel
in the Lady Chapel bears the date 1489 in arabic numerals (possibly
indicating the date of the building of the Lady Chapel). Two-bay
C15 roof with carved stone corbels to north-east chapel. Furniture
and fittings; fine C15 goblet-shaped octagonal stone pulpit with
fluted stem and enriched crocketed pinnacles attached to the
easternmost column of the north nave arcade. Late C14 font at west
end of south aisle with octagonal bowl with carved heads supported
by angels playing musical instruments, below the pedestal, demons
defeated by baptism. Mutilated remains of reredos with canopied
niches, retaining traces of colour at east end of south aisle. C15
pillar piscina and aumbry in south wall. Traces of two image
brackets over arch to Lady Chapel. C15 canopied sedilia in south
wall of chancel. Upperpart of two croziers depicted in relief
high in south and north walls of chancel. Altar; pre-Reformation
stone mensa slab, c2m long (excavated from floor of chancel in
1884) on a wooden table, riddel posts c1930 by F.E. Howard. Vestry
contains an undisturbed stone altar, suggesting this may represent
the truncated remains of a chapel. Seating designed by Sir Basil
Spence. Former choir stalls by James Brook survive in north aisle.
Monuments and brasses; marble monument to the Rev Joseph Askew,
former headmaster and chaplain of The Union Workhouse, died 1855,
on south wall of south aisle. Framed fragments of vestments some
C16, on wall below. Five C19 marble monuments in north aisle.
Unusually fine collection of 10 brasses associated with leading
woolmen of the town dating from c1400 to 1628. Brasses include an
acrostic poem on the wall in the south-east corner of the Lady
Chapel in which each line begins with the letters of the names Mawd
Parker Thomas. Mawd Thomas died 1584, Thomas Parker died 1628.
Brass in memory of John Fortey, who instigated most of the
reconstruction of the church during C15, died 1458, moved to its
present position under the second bay of the north arcade in 1961.
Six wreathed medallions round the border contain the initials
'J.F.' and his trade mark. His feet rest on a woolpack, with an
inscription in Latin below. The remaining brasses are of similar
quality depicting woolmen, their wives and children and including
the symbols of their trade and illustrating the wealth of the town
during the C15 and C16 centuries. On the east wall of the north-
east chapel is the stone setting for a brass from which the
figures has been lost. Glass; fragments of C15 stained glass in
windows of north and south aisles. C19 stained glass at west end
of south aisle. Chancel east window 1963 by Christopher Webb.
Described by D. Verey as 'one of the most dynamic examples of
Perpendicular architecture in the Cotswolds if not anywhere'.
(Cotswold Churches, 1976; The Buildings of England: The
Cotswolds, 1979; J. Harvey, The Perpendicular Style; J. Harvey,
1978 Northleach Brasses, W.C. Fallows)
Listing NGR: SP1118914566