St Mary - Iwerne Minster, Dorset
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 50° 55.763 W 002° 11.327
30U E 557008 N 5642285
Quick Description: St Mary's church, Iwerne Minster.
Location: South West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 9/26/2017 2:16:39 PM
Waymark Code: WMWPEG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 0

Long Description:
"This Norman church dedicated to St. Mary was built on a slight rise towards the eastern part of the village and possibly over an earlier structure. Work started in about 1100 AD when the quarrymen and masons were drafted-in. The workmen would have lived in the village for some years during the build. Much of their original work survives, bearing witness to their skills. Take special note of the pillars of the nave arcades with scalloped capitals, the depressed church arch, the north chapel with its pair of narrow deeply splayed windows, the round arches of the north aisle and its west window, all the work of these early craftsmen. The transitional pointed arches of the south aisle may be of the same date. Conveniently, at the time the church was being built there was a quarry directly opposite the site, but it has long since been filled-in.

The walls of St. Mary’s are of flint and rubble with ashlar dressings; the roofs are stone-slated and tiled. The nave, north aisle and north transept are of the mid 12th century and, says the RCHM, “they appear to be parts of an important church”. It is thought the original church was cruciform in plan and probably had a south tower. Late in the 12th century the south aisle was added on the west of the presumed south tower. Early in the 13th century the north transept was rebuilt. The chancel, west tower, south and west walls of the south aisle and the south porch are all of the 14th century. The tower is 60 feet in height, buttressed on three sides and crowned by a battlemented parapet. William of Wykeham was a great builder of churches and in 1361 was prebend for Iwerne in Shaftesbury Abbey. It is thought he may have promoted the building of the tower.

In the 15th century the chancel arch was widened and a steeple was added to the west tower – a rarity for Dorset. The nave was heightened during the 16th century and clerestory windows were installed.

In 1807 Thomas Harvey and Christopher Senior made extensive alterations to the church, which were not universally appreciated and in some quarters referred to as “mutilation rather than restoration”. We know that Thomas Harvey was a churchwarden. The steeple was cut down in size: originally it rose 40 feet above the tower but was reduced to about half that. The steeple is octagonal, with ribbed angles and has two traceried bands around it; a finial and a weather vane complete it. The rood loft, said to have been the most perfect in the county, was removed along with the steps leading to it and a deep gallery was put up across the tower arch at the bottom of the nave.

Then in 1871 T.H. Wyatt, a well known church architect who had built and restored many churches, was brought in to restore the church. He removed the gallery and replaced the old high pews with pitchpine seating, at the time considered fashionable. A squint was opened up in the north chapel and a north vestry was added. The south chapel was added in 1890. It is a memorial to Lord Wolveton by his widow.

There are six bells, the oldest, early 14th century, bears a fine Lombardic inscription “HVIC ECCLESIE DEDIT TERCIA SIT BONA SUB JESV SUB NOMINA SONA”. Three bells were added early in the 17th century, suggesting wealth as well as piety in the village; they are dated 1609,1613 and 1618. A further bell was added in 1768 and is inscribed: Mr Thomas Harvey & Mr John Applin, wardens. Another bell was raised into the tower on the coronation of King Edward VII.

There are many monuments and floor slabs in the church including: Robert Fry, his wife Mary (Cox) and other family members 1684; John Ridout 1764 and his wife Henrietta 1730; Katherine wife of Francis Melmouth 1718; Mrs Bower 1721; Thomas Bower 1728; John Bower 1711. The Bower family held Iwerne Minster House and estate for about 250 years before selling it in 1876 to George Glyn, 2nd Baron Wolveton."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Building Materials: Stone

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