Astoft

 

Andover,  Hampshire  -  St Mary Church
19th century

Click on photos to enlarge.
Notes in italics from Hampshire and the Isle of Wight by Nikolaus Pevsner and David Lloyd (1967)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London.


Built at the expense of Dr Goddard, who retired from the headmastership of Winchester College in 1809 to live at Andover. He died in 1845, aged eighty-eight, just before his church had been completed. ... It was begun in 1840, opened in 1844, and completed, including the tower, in 1846. ...


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 Extraordinary and really quite brilliant design. The building first of all is excellently placed on a hill a little above the town. Second it is consistently E.E. (Early English), which was not what was fashionable in 1840 ... Dr Goddard went to Salisbury for inspiration. The building is of knapped flint and stone. Tall W tower, very sheer, with no buttress set-offs, tall lancet bell-openings and blank lancets, high pinnacles. Tall aisles with pairs of lancets, clerestory, transepts, one with three stepped lancets in the end wall, the other with five of equal height. The apse appears externally to be of the full height of the building. Lower windows with geometrical tracery (three unfoiled circles).



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The exterior is impressive enough, the interior is sensational. Very high nave with a plaster rib-vault. Tall piers with six attached shafts with shaft-rings and rich stiff-leaf capitals. The tower arch is high, but below is a strainer arch, its lower part a normal arch, its upper part curving upward. The E end of the nave is higher than the apse appears inside and has a stepped five-light window leading into the space behind the upper apse windows.
The bright overall painting of the interior, in two tones, is more typically a feature of the unhistoric Gothic of the Georgian period rather than the more historically correct Victorian Gothic - what might be termed Georgian Gothic Survival. An example of the style in the Georgian period proper is at Belvoir Castle



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The apse - a stroke of genius - is separated from the rest of the church by a screen of three arches on immensely long round shafts. The apse itself has double tracery, i.e. tracery in two layers, the climax of this ingenious and fervent design. ... In the apse windows good patterned glass, coeval with the church.



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The transepts are only as high as the aisles. Transepts and aisles have rib-vaults as well. ... First picture is the north transept, last three are the south transept. The west side of the south transept shows two lancet windows, but three on the outside.



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Monuments. Richard Kentish died 1611 and family. (Misread or misprinted by Pevsner. Should be Kemish, according to the background plaque, or Kimis, according to the plaque below the monument). Small figures. He seated frontally holding a skull, the others kneeling. Columns l. and r. Last pictures: Richard Venables died 1621 and wife. The usual kneelers facing one another. Large figures.



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Stained glass has been inserted in most windows at various times, all described in a guide in the church. The latest is the Millennium window above.

 

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