Anglican Church, 1881-1882, designed by John Loughborough Pearson.
Reasons for Designation
The Church of St Mary, Hambleton, opened 1882, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* it survives largely unaltered and retains its original historic character and the cohesiveness of Pearson's original design;
* its exterior possesses an acute attention to detail and proportion, producing a church with a sense of quality of design, despite its small size;
* original fittings and fixtures survive throughout, including the pews, pulpit, font, choir stalls, sedilia, tiled floors, and stained-glass windows;
* it demonstrates Pearson's skill in achieving the illusion of decorative grandeur in a small space, by the use of proportion and contrasting materials, rather than elaborate decoration;
* it incorporates good-quality original stained glass by Ward and Hughes of Soho;
* it includes a First World War memorial window by the renowned stained-glass artist and maker Christopher W Whall.
* designed by the nationally renowned architect, John Loughborough Pearson, one of the leading church architects of the C19.
The Anglican Church of St Mary, Hambleton, was designed by the nationally renowned Gothic Revival architect John Loughborough Pearson and built by John Morgan of Campsall. It cost £2,012 1s 9d, being largely funded by the Incorporated Church Building Society and several individual donations, including the purchase of the land by Mr and Mrs W T Smith of Hambleton House (now the Owl Hotel). It was built as a chapel of ease within the Parish of Brayton (St Wilfred's), to cater for a growth of the late-C19 village population. St Mary's was what Pearson referred to as one of his 'cheap churches', which was not to denigrate the quality of design, the materials used, or the quality of the workmanship, more a comment on its size and lack of complexity. The church was designed to accommodate a congregation of 198, but on completion it was recorded as having 214 'sittings', with the pulpit, font and some furnishings having been brought from the Church of St Wilfred, Brayton, which Pearson had restored in 1877-1878. It was officially opened for worship by the Archbishop of York at a ceremony on 22 April 1882. The stained-glass in the east and west windows of 1882-1883, was gifted by the Smith family, who also installed the organ in 1885. The font was brought from Brayton Church and appears to be part C19 and part earlier in date, and the font cover was brought from the Church of St Michael, Cottingley, when it closed in 1968, so probably it dates to 1886 (the date of that church). Hambleton separated from the parish of Brayton in 1914 and joined the new parish of Gateforth and Hambleton, with St Mary's becoming the main parish church in 1915. Some minor re-ordering of the aisles occurred in 1949, with some pews being removed to create a chapel and a screened choir vestry. From 1960, the parish was held in the plurality with Monk Fryston parish and in 1985, became part of the present Benefice of Haddesley with Hambleton and Birkin.
Anglican Church, 1881-1882, designed by John Loughborough Pearson
MATERIALS: red brick with ashlar dressings, the roof is clad in red plain clay tiles, with cast-iron rainwater goods, and a timber-framed pyramidal bellcote clad in shingles.
PLAN: the church has a sub-rectangular plan aligned north-east to south-west; the chancel at the liturgical east end has a projecting vestry on its northern side. The nave has projecting aisles to either side, with a porch at the south-west corner. The slope of the aisles roofs is shallower than that over the main body of the church.
EXTERIOR: both gable walls have a pair of stepped buttresses with an ashlar dressed plinth step. The east gable has a raised and coped roof edge crowned by a stone cross. The west window is formed by two pairs of paired Decorated Gothic-style windows, ashlar lancet hood moulds, and steeply sloping sills. The east window is a tripartite reticulated ashlar tracery, beneath a single ashlar lancet hood mould. The remainder of the church is lit by a mixture of two styles of Decorated Gothic-style windows that vary both in size and height, with paired tracery windows, and the aisles have a mixture of three and two-light windows, with cusped heads and glazed spandrels, beneath stilted hood moulds. The north vestry window differs in design from the others, in that it has an ashlar transom bar. The tiled gabled roof of the vestry extends out from the slopes of the main roof and the north aisle. A dark witness mark has been left on the north aisle wall, following the removal of a boiler room. A projecting continuous ashlar string course runs at sill height around the full extent of the church. The side walls have a square-billet brick cornice, and the wall of the south aisle has a small stepped buttress. The open-fronted porch is entered by a recessed equilateral arch, supported on cylindrical shafts beneath a hood mould. The arch of the inner doorway is more elaborate, having a moulded surround with cylindrical shafts, ring moulded capitals, and a hood that has carved stops, one of which forms a cross with bell flowers. The door is decorated with iron strapwork and studs. The porch has a red tile floor and has a coupled-rafter gabled roof that merges with the slope of the roof of the south aisle. A timber-framed bellcote that houses a single bell surmounts the roof above the west gable; it has three quatrefoil sound holes per side and is clad in shingles, forming a simple pyramidal fleche crowned by a metal cross.
INTERIOR: the nave has a central processional aisle, and opens into side aisles by arcades of pointed brick arches, with ashlar hood moulds, which spring from circular ashlar pillars with ring moulded capitals and bases. The side walls have a brick square-billet cornice upon which rest timber ashlar pieces supporting the four-bay, arched braced collar roof, with moulded butt purlins, collar purlin and tie beams. The easternmost truss of the nave is situated tight against the chancel, where usually there would be a chancel arch. A continuous ashlar string course, runs at sill-height around the interior walls of the church, stepping up on the west wall of the nave, and the east wall of the chancel. The floor has plain red and black clay tiles laid in the processional aisle and the side aisles, with timber block flooring beneath the pews. The pitch-pine nave pews are set in two files of eight, with curved detailing and scrolled elbows. The font is located centrally against the west wall of the nave on a stepped stone plinth and has a carved decorated spirelet font cover; it is a composite of early and later parts; the top half consisting of a column with four attached colonettes and is well worn. The stained-glass of the west windows (1882 - 1883) depicts to the right: Christ among the Doctors and his Baptism by John the Baptist, and the panels to the left: The Adoration of the Magi and the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.
The north aisle has a file of seven pews, and a secondary carved timber partition choir vestry at its western end (now - 2021 - used as a kitchen), which has a small carved statue of the Madonna and child placed centrally beneath a canopy on its east panel. The eastern end of the aisle has a recessed equilateral brick arch that is occupied by a carved timber screen with exposed organ pipes above. A marble war memorial panel, depicting a tomb flanked by a pair of rifles recording the names of the Fallen, is attached to the north aisle wall. The south aisle has a file of seven pews, with a small memorial chapel formed at its eastern end that has a stained-glass window above. The window dating from 1920, depicts a soldier dressed as a knight, receiving the Crown of Life. It is a late work by the significant stained glass designer and maker Christopher W Whall; it commemorates Lieutenant Harris H Anson, the son of the church warden who was killed during the First World War.
The chancel has two ashlar stone steps that rise from the nave. The carved wood pulpit is at the northern end of the chancel steps and a screened priest's seat is situated at the southern end of the steps. The choir stalls situated to either side of the red and black tiled processional aisle, are carved with poppy heads and have rounded elbows. The organ chamber is situated to the rear of the northern choir stall, beneath a pointed ashlar and brick organ and vestry arch, similar to those of the nave. The vestry is a small rectangular room situated to the rear of the organ chamber, and it is entered by a small lobby at the side of the organ screen. The Conacher organ was made in Huddersfield and installed in 1885. A sanctuary step rises from the choir to the sanctuary and is fitted with a wrought-iron and moulded timber altar rail. The sanctuary has two sedilia set within the southern wall. A plain brick panel on the east wall within the step-up of the continuous ashlar string course, forms a simple reredos, with a cross attached to it to the rear of the altar table (1949). A carved oak frieze dating from 1903-1904 depicts the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), flanked by an angel (St Matthew) and a lion (St Mark) on the left, and to the right a winged ox (St Luke) and an eagle (St John), representing the four evangelists, and rests on the string course. It is signed on the back by the master carver George Walker Milburn. The construction of the chancel roof is similar to that of the nave and has a single arched braced collar truss; however, the roof directly over the sanctuary has a timber barrel vaulted lining, with a lattice of moulded ribs. The east window (1882-1883), designed by Ward and Hughes of Soho Square, London, represents the Agony, Crucifixion and Ascension of Christ and has angels within the quatrefoils. The stained-glass window in the southern wall (1883) of the sanctuary depicts Simon the Cyrenian bearing the cross for Christ.