CHURCH OF ST PAUL, WITH WEST WING
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
- Statutory Address:
- CHURCH OF ST PAUL, WITH WEST WING, PRIOR PARK
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- Statutory Address:
- CHURCH OF ST PAUL, WITH WEST WING, PRIOR PARK
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Bath and North East Somerset (Unitary Authority)
- Non Civil Parish
- National Grid Reference:
- ST 76097 62902
Church of St Paul, with west wing
(Formerly Listed as: PRIOR PARK Church of St Paul)
Chapel to Roman Catholic College, and west wing to mansion. Begun 1735, modified later C18, architect John Wood and his Clerk of Works, Richard Jones, Church 1844-1856, 1872-1882, architects Joseph Scoles and his son Alexander Joseph Cory Scoles. MATERIALS: Limestone ashlar, slate, concrete tile to church. PLAN: Long range of buildings replaces smaller wing intended by Wood in his original scheme, included porte-cochere, removed when church built, similar to that surviving in east wing (qv). Church attached to east end of link colonnade from main house (qv), and continued to west with long domestic and dormitory range for school. Whole connected to entrance gateways (qv) by single storey quadrant wall. EXTERIOR: Domestic range in four storeys and seventeen-bays, centre three stepped boldly forward and pedimented, two lower floors, fully rusticated, Jones west wing, raised by further two storeys for Bishop Baines' college accommodation. All windows glazing bar sashes, to ground floor with arched heads and radial bars. Small six-pane in top floor above twelve-pane in architraves with cornices, centre section has central Palladian window. Below are small six-pane, arched lights with twelve-pane, lower sash having nine of these. Centre pair of panelled doors in pilaster doorcase, with heavy brackets to small balcony with balustrade, tetrastyle unfluted Doric portico set flush. Above door, large sixteen-pane. Each side of portico one bay brought forward, with single sash at each level on returns. Plain two stage plinth, frieze band and modillion cornice with high plain parapet above first floor, and full entablature with blocking course and parapet. Pediment has clock face, C20 memorial. To left deep, narrow stack. Left return has central Palladian window. Ground floor bay with balustrade over arched sash, set back range with quadrants and piers, and C20 windows flanking doorway, all stopped to plain wall connected to Lodge (qv) at main gates. North side of range also in seventeen-bays, with similar fenestration, including central pedimented section slightly brought forward, having Palladian window. Rusticated lowest level, however, single floor, with large twelve-pane sashes, including extra bay to right, floor set below modillion cornice and blocking-band plus balustrade. Under some of lowest windows are small square cast iron louvred vents, inscribed `Sanatorium'. INTERIOR: This range not inspected. Church of St Paul replaces earlier structure, including porte-cochere, and comprises nave with organ gallery, apsidal sanctuary, side aisles, chapels to north side. Boldly detailed, in ten-bays, on south, or entrance side single bay at each end brought forward, and that to left with high attic. Lowest level, on south side as podium, brought forward and covering passageway, with deep set arched lights with radial bars, all in stone, with entablature to modillion cornice, but on north side level plain, with piers, lofty pair of plank doors with fanlight, on three steps, at west end. First floor has wide lights with leaded glazing in moulded architraves and to pediments on brackets, under horizontal sunk panel. First bay, above doorway, articulated with three-quarter Corinthian columns, but remaining bays have plain pilasters to blocked-out capitals without carving, below entablature with modillion cornice. Main entrance has panelled doors in vermiculated rusticated surround with key. Clerestory lunettes, set back behind parapet, not visible from outside. Central vessel rises with plain walling to dentil eaves course, to coped gables, with terminal cross to west. Detail returned to apse, has leaded semi-dome, carrying painted wooden lantern with balustraded lights. North side three domes over side chapels. INTERIOR: Main entrance gives to long passage to right, and to west lobby or narthex, central west doors, and north-south doors in westernmost nave bay. Eight-bay nave divided from narrow aisles by giant fluted Corinthian columns on high podia, linked by stone balustrades, and carrying richly modelled modillion cornice, with compartmental barrel-vault in bays, with leaded lunettes penetrating vault. Responds to aisle walls. At west end light-weight gallery with organ, and to east apsidal sanctuary, with panelled semi-dome beyond single bay with pedimented doorcases under open arched gallery with balustrade. Aisles raised on two steps, to south enclosed with pilasters and blind arcading with panels, and series of carved Stations of The Cross, but to north opening to series of side chapels, three of which lit by domes with lanterns. West end full height pilasters defining end bay have uncut blocked capitals, but at junction between nave and sanctuary fully detailed and fluted, with single and paired attached pilasters in apse. Chancel contained by stone balustrade, on three steps, with sanctuary altar podium of three steps. Doors are hardwood panelled. Fittings: plain polished pews with scrolled ends, marble main altar on chord of apse, with secondary wooden altar table set forward. HISTORY: Construction begun under Joseph Scoles, but, as was not uncommon in the development of the College, funds were insufficient for completion, and work was delayed for many years, with the building standing roofless, before being resumed under Scoles' son Alexander, and was only brought to completion in 1882. Reliefs showing scenes from the life of SS Peter and Paul were never carved; nor were the Corinthian capitals to the pilasters, and the projected bell towers never saw light of day either. Described by Pevsner as `the most impressive church interior of its date in the country¿, the church is an outstanding display of revived English Catholicism, realising Bishop Baines¿s vision of a triumphant church overlooking the city. Inspired by Chalgrin¿s Parisian church of S. Philippe du Roule (1768-84), itself a neoclassical homage to the great basilica churches of early Christian Rome, the monumentally scaled church has never been completed in detail. SOURCES: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 115; Jackson N: Nineteenth Century Bath - Architects and Architecture: Bath: 1991-: 77 The Bath Chronicle: Images of Bath: Derby: 1994-; Clarke G: Prior Park - A Compleat Landscape: Bath: 1987-: 65.
Listing NGR: ST7609762902
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