Stourton, Wiltshire

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Notes in italics from Wiltshire by Nikolaus Pevsner Revised by Bridget Cherry (1975)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London

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ST PETER. A small Perp church, except for the E window, which is of c.1310-20, if it can be trusted. Plain Perp W tower. Perp windows of four lights, in the clerestorey of three. The parapets pierced with triangles and cusped lozenges, are of the time of Colt Hoare, the historian (1858-1838). They make the church picturesque. 

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Internally, the arcades of four bays are a good deal older. Circular piers, circular abaci, double-chamfered arches of grey stone. The capitals are not reliable. The W tower was built into this nave. It has an arch with two continuous chamfers, as has the chancel arch. All this seems early C14.

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The chancel was mostly rebuilt in 1937.

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Fifth Lord Stourton, died 1536. Big tomb-chest, purely Perp, with niches, canopies, etc., but at the angles Renaissance pilasters with candelabra decoration. Two recumbent effigies, three kneeling children at their heads, not in situ.

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Effigy of a lady, c.1400, see the headdress, probably Lady Stourton, died 1403 (N aisle).

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Henry Hoare, died 1725 (who built the house). His bust right at the top. Otherwise purely architectural, tall and noble, with urns l. and r., Corinthian columns and an open pediment.
Henry Hoare, died 1785, (who laid out the grounds). White and light brown marble. An asymmetrical, i.e. still Rococo, composition of two big putti by an urn. Tall base. By Charles Harris of London. Rather in the style of Cheere.
Hester Colt Hoare, died 1785. Also a tall base, but on it a pink granite sarcophagus and at the top two putti and a black granite urn - an early use of granite. The monument was sent from Italy.

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Sir Richard Colt Hoare. In the church yard,. Marble sarcophagus, purely classical, but under a Gothic canopy with pierced cusped triangle parapet. Made in Colt Hoare's lifetime. We read that he 'sibi fieri curavit' in 1819.

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Opposite the church a terrace of C18 cottages was allowed to remain. One house has an openwork parapet above its centre, picking up Colt Hoare's motif of the church.

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Another stands on the other side of the road (part of the Spread Eagle Inn), and then the castellated stables.

It was only after 1791 that an entrance to the grounds (of Stourhead) was made from the village. The church and the church yard have - with unmatched success - been made part of the picturesque composition. The lawns run up to them and links them to the lake, and the Pantheon faces them challengingly.

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Stourhead Grounds

Stourhead House


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