St Mary, Clifton, Nottinghamshire
- Site Location
- National Grid Reference
- SK 541 349
now (or name of monument): St Mary
- Type of building/monument
- Parish church
II General Description
A cruciform building consisting of a chancel, N and S transepts, central tower, clerestoried nave with aisles, a N porch and a modern extension beyond the S transept. The N arcade is the oldest part of the present church and the two most easterly bays would appear to date from around 1200. At a later date the church was extended westwards by one bay and the W respond of the arcade moved and an additional pier with a plain capital inserted. The S arcade, also of three bays, dates from the 14thc. The two lower stages of the crossing tower are also 14thc. while the upper stage is 15thc., as is the chancel.
The S transept contains a considerable number of tombs of the Clifton family who were Patrons of the church. Under a licence dated 24 October 1476 Sir Robert Clifton established a chantry. This was confirmed in the reign of Edward IV and consisted of a warden and two chaplains.
The church was restored in 1893-94 and again in the 1960-70s, this time with George Pace as architect. The only Romanesque feature, and that a late one, is the arcade between the nave and N aisle.
IV Interior Features
(i) N arcade
Of three bays, pointed.
E respond: attic base on a chamfered plinth. Plain half-column rising to a plain necking. The capital is decorated with waterleaf on the angles, between the angles is a vestigial carved detail of another leaf. This central block of the capital is much damaged and may be a replacement.
Bay 1: S side consists of a single order of a plain, keeled angle roll. The label is decorated with dogtooth, and there is a label stop in the form of a bearded human head at the springing from pier 1. N side is plain without orders but with a (non-bearded) label stop as S side.
Bay 2: S side of a single order consisting of a keeled angle-roll. Label decorated with dogtooth, label stop at the E end of a clean-shaven human face. N side plain without orders but with a label decorated with nailhead ornament and a bearded human face label stop.
A priest and a church at Clifton are mentioned in the Domesday Survey, though nothing of that earlier structure seems to survive.
The waterleaf of the E respond and capital on pier 1 is quite bold and well executed, certainly when compared to that on the W respond. The use on the N side of bay 2 of a somewhat truncated nailhead ornament instead of the dogtooth used elsewhere is somewhat unusual.
- Anon. St Mary the Virgin Clifton, n.d, n.p.
- J C Cox, County Churches: Nottinghamshire. London 1912, 59-65.
- H Gill, 'The Church of St Mary, Clifton', Transactions of the Thoroton Society, vol. 23 (1919), 23-32.
- N Pevsner and E Williamson, The Buildings of England, Nottinghamshire, 2nd ed. London 1979, reprinted (with corrections)1997, 268-70.