Reasons for Designation
22/0/10206 WILCOX ROAD
29-MAR-10 CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL AND ST GEORGE
Church 1913, by JS Adkins. In style it stands on the cusp between the Gothic Revival manner associated with the later C19, and the Perpendicular manner often favoured for suburban churches at the end of the C19 and early C20, and often influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement.
It is aligned roughly north-south between parallel streets, the entrance, on the liturgical west front, faces south-east onto Wilcox Road. References in this description are to its liturgical orientation.
MATERIALS: Stock brick with soft red brick, Staffordshire blue brick and Bath stone dressings, slate roofs.
PLAN: A continuous five-bay aisled nave and two-and-a-half bay chancel, a flèche marking the position of the chancel arch. Attached to the south aisle of the nave and chancel is a four-bay Lady Chapel and at right angles, single storey vestries. The west, entrance front is symmetrical, having a canted baptistery set forward from a shallow narthex, and flanked by gabled porches.
EXTERIOR: At both the west and east ends, red brick angle buttresses clasp square finials which are linked to the gable by an open arcade. The west window of the nave has flamboyant panel tracery in five lights in a flush red brick opening, with flanking flush red brick bands and beneath a continuous hood mould. The gable has flush stone kneelers, and a trio of narrow vents at the apex which is surmounted by a cross. The baptistery, which has two-light windows, breaks forward from a full width narthex, which has single-light windows, which is under a continuous pitched roof. To each side are gabled porches with an entrance under an arched opening and single or two-light windows on the return. Porches and baptistery also have gable crosses.
Three-light nave and clerestory windows have cusped tracery under rectangular pointed arches; the former between narrow buttresses, the latter windows recessed under wide four-centred arches. The east end is dominated by a monumental blind red brick arch suggestive of a window opening that was never realised. Like the west end, brickwork on the east end is of stock brick with red brick banding, while the blind arch is filled in plain stock brick, in the centre of which is a large flush, white brick cross., suggesting perhaps a change of design to accommodate the reredos, which, in January 1914 was promised but not fitted, or that work on the church was interrupted by the outbreak of war. Beneath it is a three-bay arcaded niche. In the south-east angle is a tall chimney stack. The east end of the Lady Chapel is similarly articulated, with a canopied niche set within a blind red brick arch set on a continuous flush stone band. The west end of the Lady Chapel has a large rose window with flamboyant tracery above a single two-light window and a porch with an entrance to the chapel and aisle; side windows are similar. The flèche over the main roof of the church has an open timber frame under a splayed roof. Single storey vestries have rectangular two-light windows.
INTERIOR: Nave arcades have clustered stone shafts with foliate capitals, on tall, rectangular brick bases, and support chamfered stone arches; a blind arcade picked out in red brick frames the clerestorey windows. Similar piers distinguish the narthex from the nave, but this element is blocked by a full height glazed screen and floor (which are not of special interest) which were inserted in the 1970s dividing the western two bays of the nave from the rest of the church. The Lady Chapel was also partitioned from the nave by glazed screens (again not of special interest) which fill the outer four- bay arcade of moulded stone piers which divides it from the nave.
The nave roof is of timber and is barrel vaulted, with enriched ribs, and kingposts strengthened with ornate iron brackets, and supported on wall posts which rise from slender stone shafts. The aisle walls have embattled cornices. The sanctuary, reached by polished marble steps, is dominated by a wooden reredos which is said to have come from Bavaria, from where church fittings were typically commissioned. In January 1914 it was promised but not fitted. The Council for the Care of Churches report (2001) suggests it dates from the late C19. It has richly carved and painted panels and canopied niches, the central panel depicting the Ascension or Transfiguration of Christ. Lower panels depict St Michael and St George, watched over by tightly curled dragons. The altar is also carved (possibly also continental) and in part painted; it has a convex rear face and appears to have been modified. The reredos and probably the altar are said to have been painted by the congregation.
The Lady Chapel has a canted timber roof with moulded ribs on moulded stone corbels; wall surfaces are flush brick, with flush red brick banding; a stone piscina is set into the outer wall of the sanctuary. A simple brick, chamfered doorway at the west end leads to a porch.
The baptistery has canted roof with moulded ribs. A small octagonal font, probably a later introduction, now stands in the south aisle.
Throughout the church, floors are of tile mosaic except beneath seating where they are of wood block.
Other fittings include doors with upper glazed panels with rectangular and shaped leaded lights, some with green glass; and plain pine pews, a proportion of which remain. Lady Chapel fittings include pine pews; the altar has been removed although the stone plinth and pine altar rails remain. Stained glass in the baptistery was dedicated in 1927, while aisle windows mostly date from the 1960s.
The pulpit and lectern, according to the Buildings of England volume (1983), came from St Thomas Bethnal Green. The Council for the Care of Churches report (2001) describes the wooden lectern as late C19, while the pulpit, apparently a pair with the lectern, was missing. The lectern is also no longer
in the church.
The glazed screens and floor which were inserted in the 1970s and divide the nave and Lady Chapel are not of special interest.
HISTORY: The church of St Michael and St George was built in 1913 to designs by JS Adkins (b1859). Adkins trained under the highly respected C19 church architect James Brooks (1825-1901) with whom he worked on a number of churches, taking over the practice on the death of Brooks' son in 1903. St Michael and St George is the only church known to have been built by Adkins alone. It has been closed for worship since November 2000 and few records concerning the building of the church appear to survive.
It is situated in the suburbs of Teddington between Fulwell station and contemporary and indeed earlier housing, but stands in streets of later, largely inter-war housing, which were laid out, but not developed when the church was built, possibly interrupted by the outbreak of war.
B Cherry and N Pevsner, Buildings of England, London 2: South (1983), 539
St Michael Fulwell, Pastoral Measure Report, Council for the Care of Churches (2001)
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The church of St Michael and St George Teddington, of 1913 by JS Adkins is recommended for listing for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: Well-composed example of a suburban church built just before the First World War, in an eclectic late Gothic Revival and Perpendicular manner by JS Adkins;
* Fittings: Include unusual, probably Bavarian, carved reredos;
* Historical interest: the only church designed wholly by JS Adkins who trained under the highly respected C19 church architect James Brooks;
* Intactness: Intact exterior and near complete interior with limited, reversible modifications.