SP9075 CHURCH STREET
1337-0/21/24 (South side)
18/01/50 Church of St. Mary
Parish church. C12 origin, enlarged and tower added C13, C15
alterations and porch, tower and spire rebuilt and church
restored 1864-8 by Slater and Carpenter, porch restored and
organ chamber and vestry constructed 1882, "chapter house"
added C20. Coursed limestone rubble with some ironstone
banding and ashlar dressings and spire. Steeply-pitched C19
graduated stone slate roof to chancel, other roofs concealed
by parapets and not visible (though probably of lead). Aisled
nave, chancel, west tower and spire, north porch. Tower has
setback buttresses at north-west angle and a castellated
stair-turret at south-west angle. Doorways to north and south.
Plinth. Moulded set-offs beneath triple arcade, blind to north
and south and to west at a lower level and containing a single
central lancet, and beneath paired 2-light Decorated
bell-openings to each side (the tracery apparently an
addition) Castellated parapet with grotesque spout-heads.
Recessed octagonal spire with 2 tiers of lucarnes on the
cardinal faces, capped by finial. Nave has C19 castellated
parapet on moulded eaves (of ironstone to north) and 6 2-light
Perpendicular clerestory windows beneath 3-centred hoods.
Aisles have plain parapets, and 3 3-light Perpendicular
windows with 4-centred heads, linked by cill bands. North
aisle has a buttress at the east end. South aisle has plinth
and 4 buttresses and a richly-moulded round-headed doorway
with a low-level relieving arch (raised by a buttress) to the
right of it. Chancel has buttresses, plinth and cill-bands,
C19 moulded eaves, coped gables and cross finial. 3 attenuated
late C13 windows to north and south, of 2 trefoiled lights,
with pointed trefoils and cusped circles in the heads, and a
C19 5-light "Decorated" east window designed to correspond.
Projecting C19 organ chamber of ironstone with limestone
dressings to north and a matching vestry to south now linked
to the C20 octagonal "chapter house". Gabled north porch has
plinth, string course diagonal buttresses, parapet with
gargoyles at the angles and a niche (now containing a statue
of the Virgin and Child, presented in 1928) above the moulded
pointed-arched doorway. The inner north doorway is chamfered,
with a simple hood and heavily studded double doors dated 1510
and inscribed with the names of "Ihon Campyon and Ihean bys
wyf". Interior: the 6.5 bay nave arcade shows evidence of 3
main buildings phases. From the C12 are the 3 western piers of
the south aisle, circular in plan with ironstone bands and
scalloped capitals carrying abaci, and round arches,
progressively more richly moulded towards the east: the
westernmost with plain arches and abacus, then a roll-moulded
and then a zig-zag arch on abaci with incised carving on the
north face. The third complete arch from the west in the north
arcade is also round and roll-moulded, and carried on a square
pier with nook-shafts, which suggests a C12 transeptal chapel.
In the early C13, a north arcade was created, with pointed,
simple-stepped arches on (from west), a circular pier and a
square one with 4 attached demi-shafts both with stiff-leaf
capitals. Later in the C13, the tower was built encroaching
upon the westernmost bay of the nave, which was then extended
by 3 bays to the east, with double-chamfered arches on
quatrefoil piers. The lofty tower arch is triple-chamfered
with responds in the form of clustered shafts with ironstone
banding, the chancel arch double-chamfered and plainer. The
roofs to nave and aisles are Perpendicular (though restored),
with cambered tie- beams, carved bosses and, to the north
aisle, arch-braces carried on corbels. The chancel roof is
C19. The church contains wall-paintings of 2 periods -
fragment of a C14 cycle of St. Catherine on the north aisle
wall, and late C16 figures representing the tubes of Israel,
in scrolled cartouches, in the spandrels of the nave arcade.
C19 stained glass. Traceried Perpendicular screen, restored.
Plain octagonal Perpendicular font and, in the porch, an
earlier font retrieved this century from the Rectory garden.
Brass of Margaret Bacon, d.1626, and baby, in tall stone frame
surmounted by 3 obelisks, in south aisle. Fragments of 2 other
brasses - one to the Boyvill farmily (nine daughters and a
shield remain) at the east end of the nave, and in the chancel
another shield, probably part of a monument to Edmund Bacon,
(Buildings of England: Northamptonshire: pp.131-2; V.C.H.:
Vol.III: pp.183- 5; Architectural Notices of the Churches of
Archdeaconry of Northam: 1849).
Listing NGR: SP9031475017