Iwerne Minster

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Postcode for SatNavDT11 8LS
O.S. Landranger Map reference194-868145

IwernM

 

 Iwerne Minster

St. Mary

The Normans rebuilt the church on the foundations of an earlier one in 1100, but all that remains now are the massive pillars and rounded arches of the arcading to the north aisle, a single window, which may have been reset and the north transept.  There are sculpted corbels on pointed arches dividing the north chapel from the chancel, which are thought to be King Richard II (1377-99) and his first wife, Anne of Bohemia.

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©


 

Perhaps the most important feature of the building is the 14c 60 ft tower, surmounted by an octagonal 15c spire; one of only three examples in Dorset. (The others are at Trent and Winterborne Steepleton.)

The vestry is of the 1870 rebuilding, by T.H.Wyatt, when a medieval rood screen and much else was torn down.  However, the Lierne stone vaulted roof and proportions of the 1889 south chapel, in memory of the second Lord Wolverton and designed by the distinguished Gothic revival architect, J.L.Pearson, is exceptionally pleasing.

The beautifully carved reredos, altar rails and stone paving were designed by Sir Giles Scott.  Above, is the east window, set in curvilinear tracery that frames marvellous 1920 stained glass, by Christopher Whall, to provide a quite outstanding setting.

Pevsner dates the pulpit at 1610 and it is a good example of Jacobean craftsmanship.  On the left hand side of the south door there are two fine mosaics, one is of Boaz, in memory of James Ismay, a brother of Bruce, who is remembered for his association with the Titanic disaster.  James's daughters presented the organ loft and Walker organ in 1913.

Most dramatically, the church was floodlit through the generosity of Percy Davis.

The north chapel has been cleverly enclosed in glass panels to form a meeting room, while still being very much a part of the church.

 

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