TQ3081NE CATTON STREET
798-1/101/1477 Kingsgate House
See under: Nos.2, 4 AND 6 Baptist Church House SOUTHAMPTON
TQ3081NE SOUTHAMPTON ROW
798-1/101/1477 (East side)
15/02/82 Nos.2, 4 AND 6
Baptist Church House
Includes: Kingsgate House CATTON STREET.
Office block and shops with former chapel; Kingsgate House,
Catton Street forms the return and rear of this building.
1901-1903. By Arthur Keen, architect for the Baptist Union of
Great Britain and Ireland. Restored in 1946 by RM Piggott.
Exterior sculpture by Richard Garbe and internal plasterwork
by Lawrence Turner. Portland stone ashlar with tiled roofs.
STYLE: "Wrenaissance" style with Flemish inspired shaped
gables, eclectic Baroque and Arts and Crafts details.
EXTERIOR: 4 storeys with attic gables and 4 stage attic tower.
5 bays to Southampton Row, 3-bay return and 6-bay wing to
Catton Street. North west corner splayed. Ground floor has 3
wide segmental-arched shopfronts, at south the surviving
original shop window. Off-centre centre doors and fanlight.
First floor has segmental-arched tripartite windows, over
entrance with attached Corinthian columns, at south end bay
flanked with 2 additional openings. Second and third floors
have alternate flush rusticated bays with recessed bays having
giant Ionic columns through both storeys. Third floor with 4
arch headed windows with Ionic half columns and pediments; 4th
floor with 4 straight headed windows; additional flanking
openings to south end bay on both floors. First and second
floor bands, rusticated angle quoins, and attic cornice.
Sashes with glazing bars throughout. Attic pediment over
entrance bay with attic tower above, Wrennian inspiration
angle pilasters, urns, dentil cornice, octagonal bell stage
with arched louvred openings. Concave octagonal arched windows
with lunettes over, shaped verges and apex aedicules. Much
metalwork decoration to balconies and sills. Splayed
north-west angle has foundation tablet dated 1901 and, above,
a statue of John Bunyan by Richard Garbe, sculptor.
Return to Catton Street has 3 stone ashlar and 6 red brick and
stone dressed bays. Arched ground floor openings. Gabled 1st
floor and arch-headed second floor sashes with glazing bars.
Attached at north-east, former Kingsgate Chapel. 2 storeys
with attic; polygonal on plan. Tripartite lunettes, angle
pilasters, polygonal tiled cupola with clerestory and conical
roof. 2 storey advanced porch. 3 stage tower with angle
quoins, gabled windows, swept lead roof with cupola.
INTERIORS: Baptist Church House retains tiled and vaulted
ground and first floor corridors. The statue of Charles Haddon
Spurgeon by Derwent Wood which formerly stood on an inscribed
plinth under a niche in the entrance hall is now missing; the
entrance hall is pilastered and has a barrel vault, a ceiling
treatment which recurs throughout the ground and first floors.
Dog-leg stone tread stair in C17 manner with fat balusters and
handrail in wood to first floor; metal-work balustrade to
stair on upper floors. Four interiors of very good quality
inspected in September 1994: The original 2-storey Kingsgate
Chapel to the rear of the site was divided at gallery level in
1939. It is octagonal in plan with a dome finishing in a
columned light monitor. Fine plaster ornament augmented by low
relief panels depicting varieties of British trees in an Arts
and Crafts manner by Lawrence Turner; the inside has recently
been sealed to the weather and fumigated. After it was divided
in two the top half of the Chapel became the Union's Council
Chamber. In 1939 the former Council Chamber became the
'Shakespeare Room', named after the Union Secretary at the
time the complex was built. This is a barrel-vaulted room of 3
bays on the first floor (now No.108) with splendid Arts and
Crafts plaster work by Lawrence Turner; the chimney piece is
made from polished alabaster and features a low relief
terracotta plaque depicting Baptist missionaries liberating
aboriginals; this is signed Doulton of Lambeth and is said to
be by George Tinworth; wood panelling to lower walls; tympanum
of barrel vault opposite entrance bears low relief portrait
bust of Robert Hall in stone; Diocletian windows with original
leaded glazing. The former Committee Room is also on the first
floor (now No.107, it is found in the north-west corner): this
is entered via a short barrel-vaulted corridor which is top
glazed; in the side wall of this corridor is a plaque erected
at the time the building was completed recording those
associated with the project; ceiling divided into nine
compartments, the principal divisions ornamented by rich
plasterwork; a second terracotta low relief plaque, also said
to be the work of Tinworth is set above the fireplace.
Finally, there is the former Library on the second floor, now
room No.208, with wood panelling and an exceptionally fine
chimney surround with inlaid wood and roundels in an Arts and
Crafts manner; the original book cases fixed to the walls
survive; ceiling divided into 12 compartments, across 4 bays;
4 segmental-arched clerestory windows to east wall above
library cases and two to the west wall; all windows with lead
glazing of an original design. The General Secretary's room,
said to have a plaster cornice with central pendant could not
be located, nor could the Visitor's Room with panelled ceiling
and cornice, although the rooms have been renamed and may be
those inspected. Many original doors survive, and several
features from the 1939 refurbishment, including stair rails
HISTORICAL NOTE: The British Council of Churches was
inaugurated here in 1942.
Listing NGR: TQ3054681574