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Church of St George

A Grade II* Listed Building in Gravesend, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.4441 / 51°26'38"N

Longitude: 0.3684 / 0°22'6"E

OS Eastings: 564689

OS Northings: 174341

OS Grid: TQ646743

Mapcode National: GBR NMK.HYP

Mapcode Global: VHJLC.BYMT

Entry Name: Church of St George

Listing Date: 23 January 1952

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1089034

English Heritage Legacy ID: 356411

Location: Gravesham, Kent, DA11

County: Kent

District: Gravesham

Town: Gravesham

Electoral Ward/Division: Pelham

Built-Up Area: Gravesend

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Gravesend St George

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

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Listing Text

This List entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 06/01/2014


742/1/1

PRINCES STREET (West side),
Church Of St George

23.01.52

II*

1731-2 by Charles Sloane, chancel rebuilt and extended eastwards in 1892, N aisle added in 1895-9 to designs by William and Charles Basset-Smith.

MATERIALS:
Yellow stock brick with stone dressings, mostly Bath stone with some Portland stone repairs, Stonewold concrete tile roofs.

PLAN:
Nave with W gallery and W tower largely set within the W end of the nave, N aisle, apsidal chancel with NE vestry.

EXTERIOR:
Entirely Classical with relatively simple detailing. Tall, four stage W tower, only slightly projecting from the W end of the nave, with rusticated quoins and platbands. Gibbs surround to the W doorway. Tower windows with a mixture of tall, round-headed windows and occuli. Slender spire with a ball finial and weathervane. W end of the nave blind on the S, one window on the N. The C19 apse has a plain brick parapet above a platband and cornice, and a Venetian E window, reused from the original C18 apse. Windows in the E wall of the nave on either side of the nave added in 1914. The nave (S side) has a rendered parapet above a moulded stone cornice and two tiers of windows, the lower tier with shallow segmental heads, the upper tier taller, round-headed and linked by a platband. The C19 N aisle has 2-light round-headed windows with a transom, uncusped lights and a roundel in the head. The westernmost window is single light. The original N doorway has been re-sited in the W end of the aisle with a rusticated surround, keyblock, cornice and two-leaf door with fielded panels. Flat roofed C19 vestry in the NE corner with a plain brick parapet and stone surrounds to the windows and doors.

INTERIOR:
The interior is plastered and painted except for the dressings and columns of the N aisle. The nave has a flat ceiling with a decorative plaster oval and 3 ventilators, and a deep, plain coved cornice with a platband decorated with small rosettes is supported on corbelled pilasters; these have been reduced in length above the N arcade. The chancel opens through a segmental arch on impost blocks decorated with rosettes. The apse has a plaster rib vault, and is lined with two tiers of panelling, the upper tier with reeded pilasters, a triglyph frieze and reeded shafts flanking the central light of the Venetian E window. W gallery of 1764 on slender timber posts and breaks forward in the centre. The gallery front has fielded panelling and a key frieze below the cornice. Good stair with turned balusters and a dado of fielded panelling. In the SW corner is an upper gallery with a plain front recessed into the space next to the tower.

Four bay N arcade of 1897 in a Beaux Arts version of an early C18 style, with segmental arches panelled on the soffit on polished, red Aberdeen granite columns with Tuscan capitals and bases.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES:
C18 communion rails with chunky barleysugar balusters; they have panels with Italianate painting of 1893, a remnant of a large-scale late C19 decorative scheme in the chancel that has otherwise largely been painted out. In the W gallery, a 1764 George England organ (not working) with good carved decoration to the case. Drum pulpit of 1907 with reeded pilasters with holly and ebony inlay, and curly brackets to the octagonal stem. Plain polygonal font of 1872 in a Perpendicular style.

E window glass of 1866 in a pictorial style with very little leading.
S nave windows by Clayton and Bell; Heaton, Butler and Bayne, and Moore and Son. The nave NE and SE windows of 1914, and given by the Society of Colonial Dames of America in memory of Princess Pocahontas.

HISTORY
There was a church (St Mary's) at Gravesend in the Anglo-Saxon period, but it was on a different site. The first church on the present site was built in the late C15 and became the parish church in 1544. This building, which probably comprised a nave, chancel and N aisle, and possibly a steeple or tower, stood some way to the W of the present church. The Native American princess, Pocahontas, died in Gravesend in 1614 and is said to have been buried in the old church. That church burned down in 1727 in a great fire that destroyed most of Gravesend. The present church was built in 1731-2 to designs by Charles Sloane and funded out of the dues on coal coming into London as part of the 1711 Fifty New Churches Act. The chancel was extended E, retaining the apsidal plan and original E window, in 1892 and in 1895-9 the N aisle was added to designs by the firm of Basset-Smith.

SOURCES:
Buildings of England: West Kent and the Weald (1969), 288-9
Adam, H et al, St George's Church Guide (1990)

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The church of St George, Gravesend is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Parish church of 1731-2 by Charles Sloane and built under the 50 New Churches Act.
* Chancel extended and N aisle added in the very late C19.
* Early C18 communion rails, W gallery of 1764 and C18 George England organ.
* Association with the Native American princess, Pocahontas, who was buried in the previous church.
* Good townscape value

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

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