Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Dorset (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 86745 22725


688/7/115 SALISBURY ROAD 20-JUN-52 CANN (Southwest side) CHURCH OF ST RUMBOLD

II Dates of main phases, name of architect: A church of medieval foundation, completely rebuilt by William Walker 1839-40; church reordered and vestry added by C.E. Ponting, 1910. Now a performance space for Shaftesbury School.

Materials: Limestone ashlar, slate roofs.

Plan: The east end is actually north-east; this listing refers to ritual orientation. Five-bay nave, west tower (originally with gallery), staircases in the re-entrant angles between nave and tower. North-east vestry.

Exterior: St Rumbold is a very plain lancet style church typical of the unarchaeological Gothic of the early 19th century. The east wall is tight against the road; it has a window of three stepped lancets under a hoodmould. The tower has an embattled parapet and three tiers of single uncusped lancets (louvred in the belfry stage). There is a west door with moulded arch. The sides have similar plain lancets, six on each side, with a short buttress at each bay. There are no parapets, pinnacles or other adornment. The vestry is of the lean-to type, its roof continuous with that of the nave. There is a shallow south porch near the west end, possibly added in 1910. The church sits on the south-west side of Salisbury Street, and has a long narrow graveyard to its south-west.

Interior: (not inspected). Pevsner reported an elaborate steep timber roof.

Principal Fixtures: There is mid Victorian stained glass in the east window, and in the nave, late 19th or early 20th century glass (five lights south, and two north), one light dated 1924. The church contained a late 12th century font from the old church, cauldron shaped with lightly decorated scallops on the underside; it was removed when the church was deconsecrated. Refitted since the 1970s as a teaching and performance space.

History: The village of Cann lies c. 1 ½ miles south-east of Shaftesbury, but its medieval church was situated in Salisbury Street on the edge of the town, over a mile from the village. A faculty for rebuilding on the same site was obtained in 1839, and the new church opened September 22, 1840. The alterations of 1910 included a projected north aisle that was never built. Ponting reordered the interior, forming a baptistery in one of the staircase recesses next to the tower, and forming a chancel inside the east end of the nave. The church was declared redundant on February 23, 1971 and became the school chapel for Shaftesbury Grammar School for boys. This later became Shaftesbury School (comprehensive) and the building is now used as a teaching and performance space for drama and music. William Walker (c. 1789-1843) was a Shaftesbury architect who rebuilt or altered several local churches (Donhead St Andrew 1838, Charlton, 1839) in unconvincing Gothic or Neo-Norman. Charles E Ponting (1850-1932) of Marlborough was surveyor to the Diocese of Salisbury (and specifically of its Dorset region 1892-1928). His obituary in The Builder (93 (1932), p. 272) says `Some 225 churches benefited by his sympathetic work,.....always of a harmonious character'. His vestry here is very a very minor work.

Sources: Incorporated Church Building Society (ICBS), file 10899 Newman, J and Pevsner, N., The Buildings of England: Dorset (1972), 364. Pitfield, F. P, Dorset parish churches, A-D. Milborne Port (1981), 147-149 Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England), An inventory of historical monuments in the County of Dorset, Vol. 4 North Dorset HMSO (1972), 65-66 Account of church opening, The Salisbury Herald, September 22, 1840, reported in The British Magazine, Vol. XVIII (1840), 592.

Reasons for Designation: The church of St Rumbold, Cann, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* A plain church of 1839-40 by William Walker, a local architect, in unarchaeological Neo-Gothic.

* The site has been occupied by the parish church of the village of Cann since before the Reformation.

* A visible local landmark on a main route into the historic town of Shaftesbury

* Made redundant in 1971 and now in educational use; the adaptation of the interior of the church has not deprived it of architectural interest, however.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 03 Apr 2007
Reference: IOE01/15481/24
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Duncan Miller. Source Historic England Archive
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