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Church of St Andrew

A Grade II* Listed Building in Lewisham, London

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Latitude: 51.4419 / 51°26'30"N

Longitude: -0.0015 / 0°0'5"W

OS Eastings: 538993

OS Northings: 173331

OS Grid: TQ389733

Mapcode National: GBR L3.Y0P

Mapcode Global: VHGRF.X0LY

Entry Name: Church of St Andrew

Listing Date: 12 March 1973

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1079974

English Heritage Legacy ID: 203404

Location: Lewisham, London, SE6

County: London

District: Lewisham

Electoral Ward/Division: Catford South

Built-Up Area: Lewisham

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Catford St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

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Listing Text

779/27/278 (South side)


MATERIALS: Red brick with limestone dressings. Ribbed clay tile roof on nave and chancel, slate on N chapel, N porch and transepts.

PLAN: Nave, chancel, N and S aisles, N and S porches, N and S transepts, N chapel, S organ chamber and vestries.

EXTERIOR: St Andrew's is built in a freely treated Gothic style. The N and W facades are the ones most visible. The most striking feature on the N is the treatment of the NE chapel in which the buttresses rise to gables and flying buttresses from them span the gabled roof of the chapel. There are gargoyles at the tops of the vertical buttresses to discharge water that runs down the flying components. There is a similar arrangement on the S side. The N transept has three tall, graded windows with a hint of Art Nouveau in the tracery. Similar windows occur in three of the four bays of the nave. They are placed under segmental arches which span the bays between the buttresses. These buttresses penetrate the aisle roofs and become an integral part of the formation of the passage aisles inside. The W bay of the nave is unaisled and is unfenestrated on its N and S sides: its W elevation has a large four-light window. Small porches are tucked into the angles of the nave and aisles. At the E end the E wall of the chancel is canted and has a five-light window plus tall lancets set on the diagonal walling. The N chapel ends in a three-sided apse. On the S of the chancel is a stone bell-turret with cusped louvred openings and battlements. There is no clerestory or tower.

INTERIOR: The dominant architectural feature is the way brick arcades run the entire length of the church (apart from the W bay of the nave). The arches, whose mouldings die into the octagonal piers, continue at the same height, are not varied as they pass the transepts, and are continued by three bays to where E wall of the chancel is canted in. There are three arches to the nave arcades plus two bays for the transepts. The chancel arch is set high and does not interfere with the rhythm of the E-W arches. The aisles are narrow passages and have half arches across them corresponding to the external buttresses. They also have lintels with wavy tops spanning them. To the N side of the chancel the chapel has three low, plain segmental arches. The unity created by the arcading through nave and chancel is reinforced by the fact that both parts have tall, thin wall shafts that rise through the valleys of the arches to the springing of the roof. The roof over the nave has canted sides and is divided into rectangular panels; the chancel roof has a low-pitched keel shape and is also dived into rectangular panels: both roofs are reinforced with metal ties. A keeled roof also covers the N chapel. The chancel is floored with marble in subtle tones of beige, grey and cream. The nave and aisles are floored with wooden blocks

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: St Andrew's church has fittings of considerable quality. The chancel has a fine ensemble of stalls which form a group with the pulpit and reading desk. The stalls have traceried frontals and bold poppy-heads to the ends. At the entrance to the chancel is a low wooden screen with a traceried front and a pierced black letter inscription. At the E end of the chancel a delicate wrought-iron screen separates an ambulatory from the sanctuary. The font is of white marble with grey veining and has a circular, cup-shaped bowl with four corner shafts. The seating in the nave has conventional shaped ends. Around the bases of the piers there is plain but elegant panelling. There is an exceptional collection of stained glass designed by Martin Travers and dating from 1921 to 1937. His is the kaleidoscopic E window with Christ in Majesty in the centre light surrounded by soldiers in medieval dress carrying banners and a bishop: it was installed as a First World War memorial. Other windows have plainer glass with the typical Art Nouveau detail of stylised trees and foliage.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURE: Immediately to the W is a war memorial cross flanked by tablets commemorating the fallen.

HISTORY: The church was built in 1903-4 as part of the South Germans Estate built by Cameron Corbett. It was consecrated on 29 October 1904 by the bishop of Rochester. The architect, Philip Appleby Robson (1871-1951) was born in Liverpool, the son of the well-known architect E R Robson who was famous for his designs for and writings about schools. Robson junior was articled to the great Gothic Revivalist John Loughborough Pearson. He passed the RIBA qualifying exam in 1896 and became an ARIBA the following year. He practised in Westminster, then East Grinstead and moved to Manchester in 1919. He retired in 1939. Other works by him include St Gabriel's College, Lambeth, 1899-1903 and St James's church, Grove, Berkshire, 1901.

St Andrew's is an excellent example of the eclectic Gothic that was current at the end of the19th century and in the Edwardian period. The exterior is rather disparate and not as satisfactory as the interior. The architect is said to have described the style as `an adaptation of fourteenth century English Gothic' but in reality there is a free mixing of styles - touches of 13th century lancets, Perpendicular E and W windows, inventive touches such as the gargoyles, and a little Art Nouveau in some of the window glass. The use of the arcading from the nave through to the E end is an original feature which adds much visual interest of the interior There is excellent woodwork in the chancel and associated fittings, a beautiful pavement in the chancel and, above all, a very fine collection of glass by Martin Travers.

Martin Travers (1886-1948) was one of the most distinguished church furnishers and stained glass painters of the 20th century. He was born in Margate and educated at Tonbridge School and the Royal College of Arts. He then worked for short periods with his teacher at the RCA, A. Beresford Pite, and then with Ninian Comper but by 1911 he had set up on his own account. Virtually all his work was for the Church of England. He was much in tune with contemporary Anglo-Catholicism but worked for a broad spectrum of churchmanship. In 1925 he was appointed Head of Stained Glass at the RCA, leading to a profound influence on a generation of practitioners, particularly Lawrence Lee and John Hayward.

SOURCES: Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South, 1983, p 413.
Inscriptions on the church.

The church of St Andrew is designated at grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* It is of very considerable interest as an early 20th-century church in an eclectic Gothic Revival style. It has features that are architecturally inventive such as the use of flying buttresses at the E end, the treatment of the passage aisles and the use of a continuous stream of arcading from the nave through to the E end of the church.
* There are fixtures of considerable quality and interest in the chancel woodwork, iron screens at the E end, the font, and the use of Art Nouveau motifs in various windows.
* It is particularly notable for its exceptional stained glass by the important designer Martin Travers installed during the interwar period.

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 27 October 2017.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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