St Mary Haseley

History of St Mary's Haseley

St Mary Haseley

History of St Mary's Haseley

The parish church of ST. MARY consists of a chancel, nave, west tower, and modern south porch.

The nave is probably of 12th-century origin and the chancel of the 13th century. The west tower was added in the 15th century. A special square bay was thrown out on the south side of the chancel to receive the tomb of Clement Throckmorton, who died in 1573. The east wall has been rebuilt and other works carried out in modern times.

The chancel (20.5 ft. by 15 ft.) has a modern east window of three lights and vertical tracery. The north wall of ashlar is unpierced. On the south side of the chancel is the square bay, 3 ft. 2 in. deep, containing the Throckmorton tomb. It is built of Kenilworth red sandstone and has a window of four square-headed lights. Above the window (outside) is a moulded stringcourse and above that a gable-head of ashlar with modern barge-boards. In it is another window of three lights with oak frame and mullions.

The small window west of the bay has a plain square head; the shapes of the inner splays suggest a 13thcentury light widened and altered in the 16th century. The pointed chancel arch appears to be of brick and is plastered. The ceiling is plastered below the rafters and collar-beams of the roof.

Plan of Haseley Church

The nave (about 29.5 ft. by 18 to 19 ft. wide) has two north windows, the eastern, of four square-headed lights, is of the 16th century; its eastern splay, coated with old plaster, is very obtuse, but the western is acute. The wall leans out badly but the window is set (or reset?) vertically plumb. The western window is a somewhat earlier feature of two elliptically headed lights with sunk spandrels. The lower part of the wall is of ancient rubble work, the upper part of later squared rubble with some patches of 18th-century brickwork. It has two modern buttresses. The south wall has a 16th-century window of four lights like that opposite, but with acute splays. This with the wall about it is also set upright although the wall to the west of it leans out badly. It has a modern segmental reararch. The south doorway, of the 12th century, has been reset vertically and partly recut. The jambs and round head are of three orders, the innermost a quarterround section, the middle chamfered with broach basestops, and the small outermost of square section: the innermost has modern moulded bases and square imposts: the arch is of small voussoirs. The tall round shallow rear-arch is plastered. The leaning wall west of the doorway is of ancient squared rubble. At each end of the wall is a modern raking buttress and below the 16th-century window are remains of a 12th-century shallow buttress, 3 ft. 8 in. wide and 1 ft. deep. The east end of the nave has been much mutilated, apparently by the displacement of an early chancel arch. Outside, the south angle of the nave is treated as a low buttress projecting eastwards and is of old ashlar, with a double chamfered plinth. The west wall was rebuilt with the tower. The nave-roof, of c. 1500, has a halfround barrel-vault divided by moulded oak ribs into four bays and with five similar ribs running lengthwise. At some of the intersections are bosses crudely carved as shields, roses, etc. The cornices are moulded and embattled and above them some of the cross-ribs are stopped by carved devices.

The west tower (about 9 ft. square) is built of large grey ashlar stones and has a moulded plinth and embattled parapet with a moulded string-course and angle-gargoyles; some of the merlons have perished shields carved on the faces. The north and south sides have fairly low string-courses dividing them into two stages. At the west angles are diagonal buttresses reaching to the bottom of the bell chamber. The east angles have square buttresses above the nave wall. In the south-east angle is a stair-vice, entered from the nave by a four-centred doorway with an ancient door and lighted by loops: it also reaches to the bottom of the bell chamber. A plain four-centred archway opens from the nave. The west doorway has jambs and pointed head of two sunk-chamfered orders and a hoodmould. The west window is of three trefoiled ogeeheaded lights and vertical tracery in a four-centred head with a hood-mould that is continued along the wall as a string-course. The bell chamber is lighted by windows of two trefoiled lights and a quatrefoil in a two-centred head. They have much-perished hoodmoulds with head-stops.

The font is octagonal, the bowl having a moulded lower edge; four adjoining faces from north-east to south have quatrefoiled circular panels with central roses; the other faces are plain: 15th-century.

The pulpit in the chancel is of the 18th century and has four sides of a hexagon with plain fielded panels.

Interior Haseley Church

The pews are of the old high form; they are mostly of the 18th century with fielded panels and hinged doors, but one square pew has its east front made up of five bays of 17th-century panelling with imperfect round-headed panels having carved spandrels on fluted pilasters, and jewel ornament.

Some 15th-century glass remains in the tracery of the west window, including five ancient figures, partly made up with modern glass. The upper halves of the two middle piercings have the Annunciation. Below St. Gabriel is a kneeling ecclesiastic in a white cape and blue cassock with the scroll 'Sca Maria ora p nobis' and a modern inscription 'Orate pro anima Dni. Johis. Aynolph Rectoris de Haseley'. Below the Virgin is a modern figure of a kneeling ecclesiastic wearing a mantle with a red cross, and the words: 'Prior et Canonici Regulares St. Sepulchri Warwick istius Ecclesiae Patroni.' The next north light has a kneeling figure of 'St. Winifride' in a white embroidered mantle and blue gown and holding a cross-staff. The south light has the figure of 'St. Catherine' in a white and red gown and white mantle: she holds a wheel and sword. The names and much of the figures are modern.

In the recess in the chancel is an altar tomb of 18th or 19th-century brick with a slab of slate in which are brass effigies of a man and woman. The man is in Elizabethan armour and wears a sword and dagger. His head rests on a helm, but his feet (with sabbatons) stand on a flowered mound. The woman wears a close cap and veil, bodice with puffed shoulders and tight sleeves and a riband girdle tied by a loop knot and having a cord pendant and book. Her full skirt reveals a brocaded under-skirt. Below them are figures of six sons and seven daughters. The plate with the sons is hinged to reveal 15th-century tabernacle work engraved on the other face. The marginal inscription in black letter commemorates Clement Throckmorton, who died 14 December 1573, and Katherine Nevill his wife. On the slab are four shields and a lozenge with the Throckmorton and Nevill quarterings. (The lozenge is set upside down.) In the window above the tomb are fragments of coloured glass in connexion with it. They include remains of a similar inscription dated (1)573, in Roman capitals, and a shield with parts of the five Nevill quarterings. The latter is set in a foliage wreath.

There are three bells, the first (uninscribed) of late-14th- or early-15th-century date, the second with a nonsense inscription and a dog between each pair of letters (probably by Thomas Newcombe c. 1565), and the third by Matthew Bagley 1778.

The communion plate includes an Elizabethan cup and cover-paten without hall-marks.

The earliest registers, from 1588 to 1634, are included in the first volume of the Hatton register: the series is not resumed until 1743.

This brief history is extracted from