CASTLE

ASHBY

ST. MARY THE VIRGIN, WHISTON 

The church was built in 1534 by Anthony Catesby and his wife, and their son John, and has remained unaltered. It is a very interesting unspoilt example of late medieval design, and has been described as 'a small but perfect specimen of the Tudor style', but its details preserve all the character of the best work of the 15th century, and there is little structural evidence of its late date. In Bridges' time, however, there still existed in one of the windows the remains of an inscription which read 'Orate pro . . . Antonii Catesby Armigeri et Isabelle uxoris ejus Domini . . . Johannis Junioris generosi ejusdem Antonii . . . qui quidem Antonius, Isabella et Johannes hanc Ecclesiam condiderunt . . . quingentesimo tricesimo quarto. . . .',  which if rightly recorded places the year of building beyond doubt.

 

Except in the tower, where limestone and local ironstone are used in decorative contrast, the walls are wholly faced with dressed limestone, with chamfered plinths, moulded bases, strings at sill level, and battlemented parapets. The roofs are of low pitch and leaded: the aisles are under separate ridged roofs, but with raking parapets at the ends. The building is planned symmetrically, and though in the main the detail is rich it is distributed judiciously and is not overcharged. Internally, except in the tower, all the walls are plastered and the floors flagged.

 

The chancel has large clasping angle buttresses and a four-centred east window of five lights, with moulded jambs and mullions, Perpendicular tracery, and hood-mould. The battlemented parapet is continued along the east gable, with a cross at the apex: the north and south walls of the chancel are blank.