Church Road, Harbury
A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 6
The church of ALL SAINTS lies to the north of the village, in the centre of a small churchyard entered by a modern lychgate. It consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, north chapel, and west tower. When built in the latter part of the 13th century it consisted of chancel, nave, south aisle, and west tower. It has been much altered in modern times, the south aisle widened, a north aisle and chapel added, most of the windows renewed, and the upper part of the tower rebuilt in red brickwork, the whole building re-roofed, and most of the walls refaced. All the roofs are tiled.
The east gable wall of the chancel is built of small limestone rubble with occasional blocks of dressed sandstone and dressed stone angle buttresses. The three-light moulded tracery window with a pointed arch and hood-moulding is modern. On the south side, also built of rubble, are two modern squareheaded windows of two trefoil lights with label mouldings, and between them a narrow doorway with a pointed arch of one splay, probably of 14th-century date; at the western end there is a low-side lancet window with a single splay, the lower part blocked with masonry. The north side, also of rubble, has a long narrow lancet window at the east end, dating from the 13th century; the remainder of this wall is occupied by a modern vestry. The east wall of the south aisle has a modern three-light tracery window with a pointed arch and hood-moulding stopped on square blocks. On the south side there are two similar windows with a buttress between, and to the west a modern doorway with a moulded pointed arch of two orders, the outer supported on attached shafts with moulded capitals and bases. In the west wall there is a four-light window to the nave and a three-light to the north aisle similar to those in the south aisle. The north aisle is lighted by three three-light and one two-light tracery windows, and has a north door; all similar to those in the south aisle. The vestry is a continuation of the aisle and has a pointed arch doorway of one splay and lighted on the east side by a three-light window similar to that in the aisle. Against its north wall there is a small brick-built boiler-house with a tiled roof.
The west tower must have given trouble from the time it was built; the original shallow flat buttresses were unequal to arresting a tendency for its west wall to lean outwards and, as a result, massive buttresses in four weathered stages were built at the west corners, partly overlapping the original ones. The upper part of the second and belfry stages had been taken down to the level of the ridge of the nave roof, where the tower was finished off with a low pyramidal roof; (fn. 11) they were rebuilt in red brick, perhaps when the bells were recast in 1811. The tower, built of roughly coursed limestone rubble with worked sandstone dressings, is in three stages, with buttresses at each corner, that at the north-east angle coming down in the nave. On the west face in the first stage is a lancet window with a single splay and above, in the second stage, which is marked by a weathered splay, there is the blocked lower half of a narrow window. From half-way up this stage the tower is continued in modern brickwork. The buttress at the north-west corner is embodied in the modern nave wall. The later buttress to the south overlaps a loop light to the tower stair, and a square opening has been left in the north side to act as a borrowed light. On the south side in the lower stage there is a lancet window and above it in the second stage a diamond-shaped painted wooden clock dial dated 1835, but the clock itself dates from the 18th century. Above the clock in the brickwork is a roundheaded window to the ringing-chamber. On the face of the buttress to the west there is an incised and painted sundial with an inscription—'Time flieth what dost . . .' The modern brick belfry stage has a battlemented parapet with plain cement copings, a cement string-course marking the third stage, and roundheaded openings in each face.
The chancel (30 ft. 9 in. by 16 ft. 9 in.) has a modern tiled floor with two steps from the nave, one at the altar rail, and two to the altar. The modern roof is of the hammer-beam type. The east window has a pointed rear-arch and splayed stop-chamfered jambs and below it a modern carved stone reredos with coloured tile panels. At the east end of the south wall there is a modern piscina with a stop-chamfered trefoil head. The two modern windows have flatshouldered rear-arches, and the doorway between them a pointed one with a single splay. At the west end the low-side window has a splayed recess with a flat head. Fixed to this wall is a small brass inscription to Anne Wagstaff, died 1624. The western half of the north wall has been removed and a wide arch inserted, opening into the modern vestry, the organ being placed under the arch. In the eastern end the 13th-century lancet window has a widely splayed recess with a pointed rear-arch.
The nave (65 ft. 2 in. by 20 ft. 9 in.) has a tile and wood-block floor and an open roof of the queen-post type with curved brackets to the tie-beams. The south arcade has three bays with pointed arches of two splayed orders supported on octagonal pillars with richly moulded capitals and bases. At the ends the inner order dies out on flat responds and the outer continues down to splayed stops. The tower arch is of three splayed orders, the inner resting on responds, which repeat the inner order, with restored moulded capitals and single-splay bases, the two outer splays dying out on the walls.
The south aisle (38 ft. 9 in. by 16 ft. 6 in.) was widened when the nave was rebuilt and the north aisle added. The line of the earlier lean-to roof can be seen on the east wall of the tower below the modern kingpost truss roof. The arch from the aisle to the tower was not widened with the aisle but its south jamb was rebuilt; it is of three splayed orders, the inner order resting on a respond with a moulded capital on the south and dying out on the tower pier on the north. The modern north arcade is of five bays with pointed arches, octagonal pillars and capitals in harmony with the original on the south. The chancel arch is of two splayed orders which continue down to splayed stops without capitals, dating from about the middle of the 14th century. In the floor at the west end is a large stone slab to Alys Wagstaffe, died 1563, inlaid with an inscribed brass border enclosing the matrix for a female figure and on her right is a brass figure of her daughter in the dress of the period, her hands clasped in prayer, and on her left the matrix for her (five) sons. There are two brass inscriptions outside the border and two within. (fn. 12)
The north aisle (65 ft. 5 in. by 16 ft. 10 in.) is paved with tiles, and the open roof is a form of queen-post with curved brackets to the tie-beams. All the windows have pointed stop-chamfered rear-arches. In the floor at the west end is a large stone slab with a brass coat of arms in a lozenge with crest and mantling, and below a brass tablet to James Wright, died 1685. Opposite the north door is a modern stone font with an octagonal basin, having foliated panels on all sides, octagonal shaft, moulded base, and a circular basin lined with copper. In front of the north door there is an early17th-century carved chest with a plain panelled lid. The vestry is a continuation of the north aisle and shut off from it by a wooden screen. On the north side there is a door and a recess with a segmental-pointed arch. The floor is tiled.
The tower (15 ft. 3 in. by 15 ft. 5 in.) is paved with tiles and has an octagonal base in the centre for the font, now in the north aisle. The two lancet windows have widely-splayed jambs and sills with pointed reararches. The south-west corner is splayed for the door to the tower staircase, which has a pointed arch formed of two stones. On the walls there are several 18th- and 19th-century memorials, and against the south wall an oak chest with iron bands terminating in fleurs-de-lis, two locks, and hasps for padlocks, probably early18th-century.
The five bells were recast by Thomas Mears in 1811. (fn. 13)
The plate consists of a silver chalice with cover inscribed 'Harberbery 1576,' the hallmark illegible.
The registers commence 1564.
From: 'Parishes: Harbury', A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 6: Knightlow hundred (1951), pp. 103-108. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report ... mpid=57106
. Date accessed: 14 May 2008.