St Peter - Shaftesbury, Dorset
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 51° 00.342 W 002° 11.818
30U E 556341 N 5650765
Quick Description: Medieval church of St Peter, Shaftesbury.
Location: South West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 9/30/2017 12:45:02 PM
Waymark Code: WMWQ49
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 0

Long Description:
"The Parish Church of St. Peter, near the centre of the town, has walls of Greensand ashlar and rubble and is roofed partly with lead and partly with modern materials. In the West Tower, 14th-century N. and S. arches indicate a building of that date; the rest of the tower, the Nave, the North Aisle and the West Porch are of the late 15th century; the South Aisle was rebuilt and enlarged in the 16th century. There is no chancel.

Architectural Description — The E. wall of the Nave has a chamfered plinth, a chamfered string-course below the sill of the E. window, and a gabled parapet of shallow inclination with a moulded coping and a hollow-chamfered string-course. The restored E. window has five cinquefoil-headed lights with vertical tracery in a two-centred head. The N. and S. arcades have uniform two-centred arches with wave-moulded inner orders and hollow-chamfered outer orders; they spring from piers with four attached shafts alternating with vertical hollow-chamfers, with capitals with hollow-chamfered abaci and roll-mouldings, and with moulded bases, much mutilated. Above each arcade are four irregularly spaced clearstorey windows; those on the N. are of two square-headed lights with chamfered surrounds; in the S. clearstorey the windows are of two and three lights with trefoil two-centred heads in casementmoulded square-headed surrounds. The clearstorey walls have parapets with string-courses and copings continuous with those of the E. gable.

The North Aisle has an E. window of two trefoil-headed lights with vertical tracery in a moulded four-centred head with continuous jambs; over it, a moulded and hollow-chamfered parapet string-course is inclined in correspondence with the low-pitched roof. Above, a horizontal parapet, embattled and enriched as on the N. wall, dies into the sloping string-course. The N. wall has four windows with moulded two-centred heads, continuous jambs and moulded labels; each opening is divided into two lights by a mullion which runs straight from sill to apex. The N. doorway has a two-centred head of two chamfered orders with continuous jambs and a moulded label; the wall is thinner near the doorway than elsewhere, but an internal corbel-table above the doorway carries the masonry out to its normal thickness. The N. wall has an elaborate embattled parapet with a hollow-chamfered string-course and a frieze of blind quatrefoils with bosses carved with heraldic devices including Tudor roses, portcullises, suns and crescents, crossed sheaves of arrows, and embowed dolphins; over these is an upper frieze of pierced panels with cusped diagonal and vertical tracery, and merlons with trefoil-headed panels and continuous chamfered and roll-moulded coping. At intervals along the parapet, pinnacles with panelled, trefoil-headed sides and gable-headed finials rise from gargoyles on the string-course. High up in the W. wall of the N. aisle is a small window of two square-headed lights; above, the embattled parapet continues horizontally.

In the South Aisle the masonry of the E. wall appears to be in two parts, that on the S. resulting from the 16th-century widening of the aisle. An E. doorway with a chamfered four-centred head, below floor-level in the early part of the aisle, presumably gave access to a crypt in the 15th-century structure; it is now blocked. The 16th-century E. window is of four segmental-headed lights in a chamfered square-headed surround. Above, the plain wallhead is raised slightly at the centre, following the shallow slope of the double-pitched lead roof. The S. wall has windows of two chamfered square-headed lights flanking a buttress of two weathered stages; further W. is a reset 15th-century window of three cinquefoil-headed lights in a chamfered square-headed surround. The W. wall has a window similar to that on the E., its lower part masked by the upper storey of an adjacent house. The Crypt below the S. aisle is of the 16th century. The S. wall has square-headed windows, and a blocked square-headed doorway; at the W. end is a fireplace with a deep cambered bressummer and a chimneybreast with weathered offsets; it is disused and a modern window opens in the S. wall. The W. wall contains a blocked doorway which formerly opened into the house.

The West Tower is of three stages. At the base is a moulded plinth; the stages are defined by hollow-chamfered stringcourses; at the top is an embattled parapet with a moulded coping and a parapet string-course with corner gargoyles. The top stage has corner pilasters which continue through the parapet and end in crocketed finials. The lower stages have weathered diagonal buttresses on the N.E. and S.E. corners and square-set three-stage buttresses to N. and S. on the W. side; the S. side has three square-set buttresses irregularly spaced, that on the W. being a raking buttress of uncertain date built on the lower part of a mediæval buttress. The polygonal vice turret on the N.W. corner of the tower continues through all stages and ends in a pyramidal stone capping, level with the parapet finials. The E. tower arch is two-centred and of three orders, the inner order wave-moulded, the others hollow-chamfered; the responds have attached shafts flanked by hollow-chamfers and wave mouldings, with moulded polygonal bases and capitals similar to those of the nave piers, but enriched with angels (now headless) bearing scrolls. The 14th-century N. and S. tower arches are two-centred and of two chamfered orders dying into plain responds. The S. arch is closed by a wall on the S. and is reinforced by a pier of rough masonry at the centre; adjacent to the pier is a blocked window with a chamfered two-centred head. The W. doorway has a moulded four-centred head and continuous jambs; above, the W. window has two 18th-century transomed square-headed lights, inserted in a 15th-century opening with a four-centred head and a moulded label. The second stage has small square-headed openings on the N. and E. Each face of the third stage has a belfry window of two trefoil-headed lights with a trefoil tracery light in a two-centred head with a moulded label.

Straight-joints show that the West Porch is later than the tower, albeit probably of the 15th century; it has a moulded plinth and a parapet with a hollow-chamfered string-course and a moulded coping; the string-course has foliate bosses. The diagonal western buttresses are of two weathered stages and above them are plain corner pinnacles, formerly with finials, now gone. The porch archway has a casement-moulded four-centred head with continuous responds and a label with square stops.

The Roof of the nave is of 16th-century origin. It is divided into seven bays by heavily moulded main beams with raised centres; shafted timber wall-posts rising from moulded stone corbels support three of the beams and have curved braces with foliate spandrels. Similarly moulded ridge-beams and wall-plates intersect the main beams. On each side of the ridge each bay is divided into four panels by intersecting beams of lighter cross-section than the main beams; the panels are filled with plain boarding. In 1965 the roof was rebuilt in concrete, with the moulded 16th-century timbers suspended beneath it. The roof of the N. aisle is similar to that of the nave, but smaller in scale, having eight bays in its length; in 1969 it was in process of restoration.

The W. porch has a stone lierne Vault with moulded ribs springing from angel corbels (two gone); the rib junctions have bosses carved with foliage, flowers, a blank shield and, at the centre, a large rose. Stone-panelled wall-arches extend the vault laterally to N. and S.

Fittings—Bells: six; treble by Thomas Purdue, inscribed 'A wonder great my eye I fix where was but 3 you may see six, 1684, T.P.'; 2nd inscribed 'When I doe ring prepare to pray, RA, TB, 1670'; 3rd inscribed 'Wm. Cockey Bell Founder 1738'; 4th inscribed '1738 Mr Henry Saunders & Mr Richard Wilkins Ch. Wds.'; 5th inscribed 'While thus we join in chearful sound may love and loyalty abound. H. Oram, C. Warden. R. Wells Aldbourne fecit MDCCLXXVI '; tenor by Thomas Purdue, inscribed 'When you hear me for to tole then pray to God to save the soul, anno domini 1672, TH, RW. CW. TP'. Brass and Indents: In N. aisle, stone floor-slab with central plate (17 by 3¾ ins.) with worn black-letter inscription of Stephen Payne (Hutchins III, 46), 1508 or 1514, and indents for four shields. Communion Rails: In eastern bay of N. and S. nave arcades, with stout turned oak balusters and moulded rails, late 17th century; defining two eastern bays of nave, with profiled flat balusters and moulded rails, 17th century, made up with modern work. Communion Tables: In S. aisle, of oak, with plain stretchers, heavy turned legs enriched with acanthus carving, and enriched rails with escutcheon dated 1631. Near N. doorway, of oak, with tapering octagonal legs with claw feet, arcuated rails, scrolled diagonal stretchers with turned finial at intersection, and beaded edge to top board, c. 1700. Font: (Plate 12) with octagonal bowl with two trefoil-headed sunk panels on each face and moulded underside, similarly panelled octagonal stem and plain octagonal base, 15th century; ovolo-moulded plinth, perhaps 17th century. Font cover, of wood, low eight-sided dome with moulded rim and ribs, 18th century. Glass: Five small panels reset in E. window of nave; (1) in a roundel with indecipherable inscription, shield-of-arms of Fitzjames impaling Newburgh (Sir John Fitzjames of Lewston, d. 1539, married Alice Newburgh of E. Lulworth); (2) former tracery light depicting Virgin and Child, c. 1500; (3) former tracery light with shield of Five Wounds, 15th century; (4) shield-of-arms of Eliot quartering another coat; (5) emblem of Trinity. Graffiti: on communion table in S. aisle, W.K., H.R.E.; on lead roof of tower, Jn. Reynolds, 1779.

Monument and Floor-slabs. Monument: In N. aisle, of Robert Woolridge, 1777, oval tablet with cherub and foliage. Floor-slabs: In nave, (1) of Walter Barnes, 1776, and his wives Elizabeth, 1729, Frances, 1757, and Mary, 1767, stone slab with shield-of-arms now indecipherable; (2) of Elizabeth Barnes, 1729, stone slab with inscription in architectural framework. In N. aisle, (3) of Stephen Payne, see Brass and Indents.

Niches: In N. aisle, in E. wall, with soffit carved to represent vaulting, formerly with canopy, pinnacles and corbel; in N.E. angle, with trefoil ogee head, carved enrichment at springing of soffit, shelf cut back; in N. wall, three ogee-headed niches, one with cinquefoil cusping, others trefoiled; externally, in N. wall of N. aisle, with crocketed ogee head and shafted jambs; over arch of W. porch, with canopied cinquefoil head and shafted jambs with crocketed finials; all 15th century.

Panelling: In nave, on E. wall, of oak, with moulded and shaped cornices and fielded panels surrounding tables of Creed, Decalogue etc., 18th century; in S. aisle, reset fragments with chip-carving and fielded panels, 17th and 18th century. Plate: includes undated Elizabethan silver cup by 'Gillingham' maker; silver paten inscribed 1714; silver stand-paten inscribed 'ex dono Thomae Hackny 1714'; large pewter flagon inscribed 'Shaston St. Peter's 1770'; with no marks; (some of these items may belong to Holy Trinity Church, proper attribution being impossible since the union of the two benefices). Poor-box: of oak, with foliate carving and inscription 'Remember the poore ', and with three locks, probably 17th century. Pulpit: of oak, polygonal, with fielded panels and moulded cornice, 18th century, base gone.

Rainwater Head: on S. wall of nave, of lead, inscribed I.M., R.W., 1674, with contemporary down-pipe. Royal Arms: see (3). Seating: incorporates twenty-three reused oak bench-ends with traceried decoration, 15th century; also one oak bench with beaded decoration, 17th century. Stoup: in W. porch, with bowl cut off, 15th century. Tables of Creed and Decalogue etc.: In nave, on panelled E. wall, with shaped and gilded frames, one panel with Creed, one with Lord's Prayer, two with Decalogue, 18th century."

SOURCE - (visit link)
Building Materials: Stone

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