SY6873 FORTUNESWELL, Fortuneswell
969-1/3/91 (North East side)
16/01/51 Church of St John
The building axis lies NW to SE, but the ensuing description
takes the chancel as liturgical E. Anglican parish church.
1839 by Edward Mondey; late C19 chancel and organ chamber.
Portland ashlar in small blocks, slate roof to nave, tile to
chancel. A simple structure in Commissioners' Early English
style. Broad unaisled nave, west tower, lower chancel, vestry
at SE corner. West front has small lancet each side to nave,
under raking moulding to blocking course brought to stopped
ends under coping. West tower in 3 stages, the first two with
diagonal buttresses in two offsets, and the top stage with
chamfered corners, crowned by moulded cornice beneath high
crenel- lations. In flush surrounds to deep plain chamfer a
pair of plank doors in pointed arch, under lancet, and louvred
lancets to bell stage, but clock to S face. Nave has four
broad lancets, the first 2 with Y-tracery to original glazing,
divided by plain buttresses with two weathered offsets, but
set diagonally at ends. High plinth, plain eaves, coped
gables, small metal ventilator at ridge. To right is
projecting C20 vestry in similar detail, with entrance door in
pointed arch, and with coped gable on kneelers over a lancet
at the street end. The set-back chancel, added later in the
C19, has a small lancet on the S side, and E end has
plate-tracery 6-foil rose in plain gabled wall. The steeper
pitch of the chancel roof cuts across the coped gable to the
nave, in detail as at the W end. N side of the chancel is
small dressed square block, but the nave wall, which is built
close against rising ground, is in rubble. Interior: plain
unaisled nave in 7 bays with queen-post roof trusses on wooden
corbels. Plain walls with deep window embrasures. Chancel arch
flanked to left by blind door, and to right by door to vestry.
Chancel and sanctuary on 4 steps, with panelled reredos. Nave
has west gallery carrying large Willis organ of 1896, from St.
Paul's School, West Kensington, brought to St. John's in 1969.
Pine pews, those to side aisles reputed to have been
constructed by prisoners at The Verne. The plain lancets at
the E end each side with stained glass; on S side of 1903, and
to N, one signed C. Maile, Canterbury, 1971, and another,
unsigned, of 1968, to the Mothers' Union. In the W tower a
stone stair with iron stick balustrade and wrought-iron rail
gives access to gallery. The church is of a simple dignity,
reflecting minimal outlay by the Commissioners, but provides
an important accent in the street.
(Royal Commission on Historical Monuments: Dorset: London:
1970-: 249-50; Buildings of England: Pevsner N and Newman J:
Dorset: London: 1972-1989: 343).
Listing NGR: SY6866573530