899/1/73 CHURCH PLACE
18-OCT-1955 (South side)
PARISH CHURCH OF ST PETER AND ST PAUL
Large parish church of several phases. The NE chapel(formerly the chancel)incorporates some Saxon long-and-short work, a late Norman arch (formerly the chancel arch), C13 lancets and some C15 windows. The N tower was added in 1742 in a chunky Italianate style by James Norris of Gosport, contractor Thomas Goss of Wickham. The nave was rebuilt and enlarged in 1812, but this work largely disappeared in later phases. The chancel was rebuilt in 1888 to the design of Sir Arthur Blomfield in Early English style; the S transept is in the same style. The nave was rebuilt in 1930-31 by Sir Charles Nicholson in a style influenced by the tower. Outer N aisle glazed off to provide W end parish office and separate chapel; church hall, completed in 1975, attached to E end of church.
MATERIALS: The chancel is built in flint with red brick and stone banding and Bath stone dressings. The tower is of grey and blue Wallington brick headers with red brick dressings. The nave is in red brick laid in English bond with burnt headers and stone dressings. Tiled roofs to medieval and Victorian structure, copper roof to nave and copper dome to tower cupola. PLAN: nave with clerestory and W end organ gallery; chancel; NE chapel; S transept; N tower; 4-bay N and S aisles and 3-bay outer N aisle; SE vestry, NE porch.
EXTERIOR: The Blomfield E end has angle buttresses and lancet widows including a triple lancet E window under a polychromatic arch and a Geometric Decorated S window to the S transept. Chimney stack on the S wall of the chancel. The NE chapel has a triple lancet E window and one lancet and the remains of two others in the N wall, a C13 doorway and 2 Perpendicular medieval square-headed windows. 3-stage N tower with projecting quoins of red brick, string courses and a moulded brick cornice below the parapet. Round-headed E doorway to tower with an oculus window to the 2nd stage and a Diocletian window to the top stage. The N face is similar with a round-headed window in place of the door. Octagonal cupola with a domed roof on a lead-covered base with clock faces. The 1930-31 nave, said to incorporate some red brick walling from the 1812 phase, has Diocletian windows and a N porch, which has a low gabled parapet. The W end has clasping buttresses with set-offs, tall lancet windows and a pair of shorter high-set lancets between. Deeply moulded recessed round-headed W doorway flanked by blind arcading. The S side has high set paired round-headed windows to each bay above blind-round-headed recesses. Similar triple windows light the clerestory.
INTERIOR: The interior is more consistent than the exterior, the nave tall and light with a good shallow-pitched tie beam roof of large scantling, divided into panels with carved bosses. The 1930 arcades have octagonal Chilmark stone piers without capitals, the arcade mouldings dying into them. Flat panelled ceilings to N and S aisles. The tall double-chamfered chancel arch has octagonal responds, the Flamboyant timber chancel screen, dedicated in 1910, by Dart and Francis of Crediton, moved one bay E to accommodate nave altar. The chancel has a canted boarded 1889 roof, divided into panels with cusped transverse arches, all with painted decoration of 1931 to the designs of Sir Charles Nicholson. The triple lancet E window and sedilia have black marble shafts and bell capitals. Mosaic reredos, Messrs Powell & Son of Whitefriars, given in 1892 and extended with outer panels in 1905, with central scene of Christ in Glory. Encaustic tiles to chancel. The N chancel wall is treated as an archaeological display, the former external wall of the medieval church revealed with three medieval windows. One of the responds of the double chamfered arch into the NE chapel has volute capitals. The lights of the C13 triple lancet E window of the chapel are deeply splayed. Some medieval floor tiles survive. The chapel roof has a C19 or C20 plastered canted ceiling divided into panels and 3 probably late medieval tie beams. No pulpit. 1930s font with an octagonal stone bowl on a stem with engaged shafts on a later large ashlar stone two-tier base. The E wall of the outer N chapel has a re-sited section of medieval oak screen, heavily repaired, probably a C15 reredos. It is divided into large panels with blind tracery and a deep coved cornice with brattished cresting, and has doors at each end. Traces of ancient colour survive. C19 benches in the nave with ends with chamfered corners and round shoulders. Numerous wall monuments, the most ambitious is to Captain Newman (d 1811), by Sir Richard Westmacott, which has a relief of a sinking ship. Glass includes several windows by Burlisson and Grylls including a good C19 Jesse tree in the E window of the NE chapel, memorial date of 1887.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: Although externally the church is a diverse series of styles and material, it has outstanding elements, notably the 1742 tower. The interior successfully combines the separate elements of the former medieval chancel with Sir Arthur Blomfield's High Victorian chancel and a fine nave of 1930-31 by Sir Charles Nicholson. Fittings include good quality Victorian features in the chancel and a remarkable C15 coved timber reredos (re-sited). The 1975 church hall extension is not of special interest.
SOURCES: Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, 1967, pp218-220
Sturgess, Alan H., A Guide to the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Fareham, 1995.