Full Report for Listed Buildings
Summary Description of a Listed Buildings
Date of Designation
Date of Amendment
Name of Property
Church of St Thomas a Becket
In the centre of Shirenewton village.
Religious, Ritual and Funerary
The only fully surviving medieval part of the church is the tower which appears to be c1300; the earliest mention of the church is 1254. The chancel was heavily restored and rebuilt in 1854, by John Norton, paid for by the then Rector, Edward Inwood Jones, Rector 1848-56, when the nave was wholly rebuilt apart from the east wall. The church has been changed little since that date apart from the removal of the chancel plaster in 1927.
The church is constructed in squared blocks of coarse red sandstone, with much smaller quantities of conglomerate and fine grained limestone in grey and red. All the masonry is built in snecked courses, but the Victorian work, used for the restoration of 1853, can be distinguished by its rhythmical setting, the earlier work is much more irregular. The medieval dressings are in sandstone and the Victorian ones in Bath stone. The roofs are of concrete tiles.
The church consists of nave, misaligned chancel separated from the nave by a tower on the same alignment as the chancel, with a square projecting stair turret on the north side, a north aisle, a two storey south porch and a vestry against the north wall of the chancel.
The nave has a north aisle only. The south wall has three bays with the two storeyed porch in the centre. This is probably C15 and has a 2-centred arch with dripmould and a flat topped Perpendicular window above with cusped heads and two quatrefoils in the top corners, dripmould over. The gable is coped with an apex cross. The return walls are blind, although there is an indication of there having been an east window. Diagonal corner buttresses. The porch was originally taller. On either side of the porch is a 2-light Decorated style window in a 3-centred head, these have a central quatrefoil. These windows are repeated on the wall of the north aisle where there are three of them. The west wall has uneven coped gables. The west window of the nave is larger and more elaborate than that of the aisle, although similar 2-light ones with cusped heads. The tower is square and has three stages with a string course between the second and third one. It has quoins and Victorian stepped buttresses at each corner. The ground stage of the north side is hidden by lean-to sheds, while the south wall has an inserted window, although it is medieval. The second stage has a slit window on both north and south sides. The bell stage has a small opening on each face, but this is obscured by the clock face. Castellated parapet on brackets. The stair turret, which seems to have only one slit window, stands higher than the tower and is also castellated. The chancel has a Victorian vestry with 2-light window on the north wall and a small window to the chancel. The south wall has a 2-light Decorated window with quatrefoil heads as before, and a priest's door with a hollow chamfered surround. The east wall has a 3-light window with triple quatrefoil over trefoil headed lights. Coped gable with apex cross.
The nave, aisles and tower are plastered and painted, the chancel was stripped in 1927. Three bay 2-centred arcade with the arch moulding dying into the octagonal piers. Unceiled barrel roof to the nave; arch braced collar beam truss to the chancel; simple roof to aisle, all are of 1853. The chancel roof rests on six corbel stones, carved as heads, which are possibly recut medieval ones.The furnishings are all Victorian or later. The pipe organ was presented by Captain Liddell of Shirehnewton Hall in 1908. The furnishings of the north aisle date from 1967. The reredos was introduced from St Woolos Cathedral in 1968. There are six bells, three dated 1756, one added in 1918, all were restored and re-hung in a new frame in 1997 when two new bells were added. The clock is a memorial to WWI.
Reason for designation
Included primarily as a Victorian church restoration by John Norton which also includes a good medieval tower and parts of the chancel.
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