SK 70 SW MAIN STREET (North Side)
4/93 Church of St. Thomas a Beckett
Church. Parts of fabric are late C13, but it was almost entirely rebuilt in
1860, adopting the style of the original building, late Decorated and
Perpendicular. Coursed ironstone rubble with limestone dressings. West tower,
nave with 2 aisles and clerestory, chancel and North chancel chapel. 3-stage
buttressed tower with paired foiled lights to bell-chamber, and embattled
parapet with crocketted finials on angles, 3-light Perpendicular west window.
South aisle with Victorian porch, with hollow chamfered arch and paired quatre-
foils in east and west walls. Low gates to porch, c1860, of latticed woodwork,
with a pierced quatrefoil in each small lozenge-shaped panel. South door also
Victorian with chamfered and shafted archway with hood mould. 3-light windows
to aisle are heavily cut Victorian tracery in late Decorated style. Clerestory
has paired lights in Decorated style, with hood moulds. Parapet. South chancel
windows are similar, the east window a more successful piece of Victorian
work: the tracery in its 5-lights more intricate and delicate. Eaves cornice
to coped chancel gable which is capped by cross finial. North chancel chapel
is Perpendicular and apparently unrestored. It has chamfered 4-centred
arched doorway 2 3-light windows, 1 blocked, to north and a 5-light window
to east. 3-light Perpendicular window to west with elegantly curved hood mould.
North aisle windows are similar to the south, heavy Victorian tracery in late
Decorated style. Parapet and moulded eaves cornice.
Inside, west tower arch, double chamfered, with octagonal responds. Nave of
4-bays, the arcade of c1300, slender octagonal piers and capitals with double
chamfered arches and outer hoodmould supported on large corbel heads. Nave
roof is of 1860, cambered trusses with corbel heads. Aisle roof of similar
date, a combination of lean-to roof and symmetrical cambered trusses with
decoration in the spandrels. Blank ogee archway in east wall of south aisle
probably connected with former rood loft. Chancel arch has paired rounded
shafts with roll-moulded capitals. Blocked door to rood loft visible to south.
2-bay arcade to north chapel with octagonal piers. Chancel fittings presumably
date from the restoration of 1860, traceried stone and marble reredos, ornate
wood screens to north chancel chapel, heavily carved stalls and altar rails.
North chancel chapel now vestry contains some Skeffington family tombs: one,
to Sir Thomas Skeffington, d1600, Isabella his wife and 4 children has kneeling
marble effigies in a recess, with inscription tablet behind. This may not
be its original site however. In another recess is the memorial to William
Skeffington, d.1559, a formal composition with arms and heraldic emblems.
Above it, is the wall tomb of John Skeffington, d.1652: angels draw back a
curtain from the inscription tablet, with arms and scrolls above. Fragments
of richly coloured medieval glass in east window of chapel. One north window
of chapel, and a chancel east window have glass by Wailes. Victorian font:
octagonal bowl and base, with emblems of evangelists on the panels, and ornate
wood pyramidal cover.
Listing NGR: SK7414302632