882/6/25 CHURCH PLACE
CHURCH OF ST MARY MAGDALENE GATES AND
WALL ON WEST AND NORTH SIDES OF CHURCH
St Mary Magdalene is an Anglican parish church with an early C16 west tower; the body of the church dates largely from 1842, to a design by Thomas Foster and Son of Bristol, with 1895 additions by F S and F W Waller. The west tower is Perpendicular, and the remainder of the church in a Gothic Revival style.
MATERIALS: The church is built from limestone ashlar under a Cotswold stone tile roof, with limestone dressings, and cast iron rainwater goods.
PLAN: The church is rectangular on plan, with projecting west tower, rectangular chancel and south porch. The building comprises a tower, aisled nave, chancel, north organ chamber, south porch and south chapel.
EXTERIOR: The tower, which rises in three stages, separated by string courses, has diagonal buttresses; the west door, of oak with decorative wrought iron strap hinges, is set in a moulded doorcasing under a four-centred arch with hood mould, and a Perpendicular, traceried three-light window above. In the central section of each face is set a copper and gilt clock face, and in the belfry each face of the tower has a two-light, louvred opening with tracery, set under a drip mould. A stair turret is set into the corner between the north face of the tower and the west end of the north aisle. The tower is castellated, with pinnacles at each corner. The south and north aisles are each of five bays, the fifth, an extension at the east end, being lower and slightly set back; the main range has buttresses between two-light windows with geometric tracery, each set under a drip mould. The single storey south porch, in the westernmost bay, has a gabled roof and a moulded, pointed arched doorway with an oak door with wrought iron strap hinges; above this is a trefoil light. The south aisle has a small doorway into the chapel towards its east end, and the chapel window in the south aisle extension consists of three lancets with trefoil heads under a segmental pointed drip mould. The north aisle is similar but has no doorway. To the east end, the chancel has a four-light traceried window set under an ogee-arch with a blind, stepped arcade of trefoil headed niches above it.
INTERIOR: The interior consists of tower, nave, north aisle with north organ bay, south aisle with south chapel, and chancel. The tower arch is C16, with label stops carved with human heads. The arcades have pointed arches carried on Early English clustered columns with capitals decorated with foliage, acorns and berries, and moulded bases. The aisles have unusual roof trusses in the form of timber arcades with trefoil-headed openings. The ceiling of the nave and chancel are of shallow, four-centred arched vaults, in timber. The nave and aisles have C19 pews on a stone flag floor. The chancel floor is tiled in terracotta. The choir stalls and organ are of oak. The hexagonal font, of 1842, is carved with quatrefoils. The chancel has a commemorative window of 1909 to members of the local Apperley family; the window in the south chapel commemorates the Rodborough men who fell in the Great War. A window in the north aisle, depicting the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Crucifixion and the Ascension is by Willement, and dates from 1845. There are a number of interesting C18 memorials and a Jacobean pulpit given by Jasper Estcourt of nearby Lightpill in 1624.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The churchyard is bounded to the north and west by walls of hammer dressed limestone, with monolithic gatepiers housing C19 wrought iron gates to the west.
HISTORY: Rodborough was originally part of the ecclesiastical parish of Minchinhampton. A church had been erected by 1384, but it was not consecrated until the 1550s; it remained a chapel of ease to Minchinhampton until 1841, when the new ecclesiastical parish of Rodborough was created. This church was rebuilt in the late C15 or early C16, and a tower was added in the second quarter of the C16, largely funded by the local Halliday family of clothiers. The current church of St Mary Magdalene retains the C16 west tower, but the remainder of the church dates largely from the 1842 rebuilding by Thomas Foster and Son of Bristol; this building also incorporated galleries, though these were later removed. The aisles and chancel were extended eastwards in 1895 by F S and F W Waller, to provide an organ chamber to the north and an extended chancel and south aisle. In 1939, the easternmost bay of the south aisle was fitted out as a chapel. Stained glass windows were added in 1845, 1909, circa 1920 and 1998.
SOURCES: Victoria County History: A History of the County of Gloucester, Volume 11: Bisley and Longtree Hundreds (1976) 230-32
REASON FOR DESIGNATION DECISION:
The Anglican church of St Mary Magdalene is regraded at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* A parish church retaining its Perpendicular west tower dating from the second quarter of the C16
* A high quality, well-executed composition by a recognised ecclesiastical architect, Thomas Foster of Bristol, in a lively, Gothic Revival style
* The high quality of the interior carving to the 1842 nave arcades
* Strong group value with the other listed buildings in Church Place, Rose Cottage, Church Cottage, the raised pavement and the retaining wall to the churchyard in Walkley Hill