TL 88 NW SANTON DOWNHAM
2/89 Church of St Mary
Church. Mediaeval, with alterations of late C19 (mainly 1893). Nave, chancel,
north porch, west tower. Flint rubble with freestone quoins; the tower is
faced in flushed flints with random squared limestone rubble. Plaintiled
roofs with parapet gables, the tower roof flat behind crenellated parapets.
Surmounting the east nave gable is a moulded pinnacle, perhaps reset from the
tower. The development of the church in C12 and C13 is complex and
interesting. Core of nave is C12: - north and south doorways have spiral-
carved jamb shafts and scalloped capitals, the south doorway retaining roll-
moulded round-arched head. Above it is an oblong plaque with good carving,
perhaps of a wolf attempting to devour the Tree of Life. The north doorway
was altered C14, with arched head, the hoodmould having mask dripstones. Over
the doorway is a C15 niche for the Virgin Mary. The simple boarded door is
mediaeval, perhaps C14. In the nave are 2 windows with C12 broadly splayed
inner arches, adapted C13 for larger lancets. The chancel was perhaps rebuilt
c.1200; south doorway has round-arched head with dogtooth enrichment, perhaps
reset in antiquity from north wall where a matching lintel spans a blocked
opening. 2 early C13 lancets in north wall, and between them a tomb recess,
and beside it an aumbry. A blocked C13 window in south nave has painted
scrollwork. Of later C13 are 2 double lancets in south wall, one altered.
C.1300, the chancel arch with moulded pilasters, and fine contemporary screen
with heavy oak framing; drop-tracery to the doorway, turned mullions and
tracery to the side-lights, perhaps restored C19. The boarded lower section
retains early painted decoration. In the north nave wall is a blocked early
C14 opening, formerly leading into a chapel later demolished. Beside the arch
is a piscina. Also of early C14 is a 2-light window in south chancel, and
beside it is a C15 piscina. The east window was renewed C19 in the C14 style.
Parapet-gabled C15 porch was built against the pre-existing chapel, whose wall
it retains - hence the asymmetry. Over the arched doorway is an image niche.
The tower was built late C15, in 3 stages with 2-light belfry openings. The
set-forward plinth has a frieze with flushwork tracery, and inscribed names of
John Watt, John Reeve, Sir John Downham, Margret Reve, Jafrey Skytte and
William Toller, all of whom are known from documents of 1463-1504. The tower
arch has an inner order on corbels with supporting angels. All roofs were
renewed 1893, in nave of arch-braced collar-beam type with arched queenposts;
in the chancel boarded in 7 cants. Simple C14 octagonal limestone font with
C17 oak pyramid cover. Octagonal mid C17 pulpit with carved panels. 4 bench
ends of C15 are reused in C19 pews. 2 coped C14 tomb-slabs in chancel floor;
also 4 marble slabs of c.1700. On chancel wall, 2 wall tablets to Thos.
Wright, his wives and 5 children (d.1757); and to Ann Wright, d.1807.
Flanking the tower arch are 2 wall tablets:- to Charles Sloane (Earl Cadogan),
d.1807; and to Lt. Col. Henry Cadogan, d.1813. A wall tablet outside the
north door to George Wright, Minister, d.1814 and his wife Francis, d.1822.
C19 stained glass windows by Kempe, in 3 lancets on north side, and in west
Listing NGR: TL8162487612