Church Of The Holy Spirit

6 Mar 2001
Church Of The Holy Spirit, Fawcett Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO4 0DL
Photograph (Digital)
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.


SZ6599 FAWCETT ROAD, Southsea 774-1/14/487 (North side (off)) Church of the Holy Spirit


Parish church. 1902-24 to the designs of JT Micklethwaite, succeeded by Sir Charles Nicholson; bombed 1941 and reroofed and restored 1956-8 by Stephen Dykes Bower incorporating nineteenth century fittings by Temple Moore from St Agnes, Kennington, London. Red brick, the walls of great thickness (3'9"), slate roofs save over east end parish rooms, which have a flat roof. PLAN: five-and-a-half bay nave with aisles; two bay chancel, with shorter two-bay chapel of St John, and Lady Chapel set up flight of stone sets over vestry to sides. Choir room and church rooms to east survive less altered after war. EXTERIOR: is austere, set back behind houses and barely visible from road before bombing created a narrow gap site in front. Seven windows to south, nine to north, in Perpendicular style, with wider five-light west window and high three-light windows under steep-pitched gables to east end. Entrance from Fawcett Road has stone surround under flat 1950s porch. INTERIOR: with C19 arcade (but with capitals removed), rear gallery over baptistry, chancel mouldings and steps to chapel, but with arches to Lady Chapel reduced from four to three by Dykes Bower. The whitening and lightening of entire interior, with elaborately painted organ case and ceiling, is typical of his finest work. East window has glass by CE Kempe from St Bartholomew, also bombed in 1941; more Kempe glass, from St Agnes, Kennington, in Lady Chapel East window, and (three panels) in west window; fragments of C19 glass from St Bartholomew's and St Agnes's in Chapel of St John. Altar has been moved forward of East end gradine; fitments in memory of Father Bruce Cornford. Furnishings by Temple Moore, from St Agnes, Kennington, include pulpit with very elaborate Gothic traceried patternwork (1891), choir stalls (1900), font and soaring, elaborate cover (1893). Cast-iron lectern by Bainbridge Reynolds from St Andrew, Worthing. Organ rebuilt in the 1950s. HISTORY: the church was originally built as St Matthew's, for Father Bruce Cornford (1867-1940), incumbent, for whom fundraising and the building of the church was his life's work. He replaced a cast-iron church of 1888 for the new parish by `slow, hard, unlovely beggary', creating one of the most elaborate high Anglican churches of the early twentieth

century, particularly noted for its organ and massive First World War memorial reredos by Nicholson. Its replacement is a far more austere but no less moving building, relying for its effects on the expression of space and focal points of especial interest. St Agnes', itself entirely demolished after wartime bombing, was a key building in the development of the later Gothic Revival, to which these few surviving fittings of exceptional quality and vivacity are a rare clue. Designed by George Gilbert Scott Junior in 1874-7 and completed by Temple Moore after 1880, it was influential on several generations of architects up to and including Dykes Bower, who may be regarded as the end of a distinguished English tradition in high church architecture. (Portsmouth Papers: Hubbock R: Portsea Island Churches: Portsmouth: 1969-: 16, 25; Portsmouth Local Studies Scrapbook: Vol 3: 175; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N and Lloyd DW: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight: Harmondsworth: 1967-: 443-4; Brandwood GK: Temple Moore, an Architect of the Late Gothic Revival: Stamford: 1997-: 56-58).

Listing NGR: SZ6516799908


This is part of the Series: IOE01/0107 IOE Records taken by Mark Bardell; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Mark Bardell. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Bardell2, Mark

Rights Holder: Bardell2, Mark


Brick, Slate, Victorian Anglican Church, 20th Century Religious Ritual And Funerary, Church, Place Of Worship, Parish Church