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Church of the Holy Spirit

A Grade II Listed Building in Portsmouth, City of Portsmouth

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Latitude: 50.7912 / 50°47'28"N

Longitude: -1.0748 / 1°4'29"W

OS Eastings: 465308

OS Northings: 99476

OS Grid: SZ653994

Mapcode National: GBR VTM.1T

Mapcode Global: FRA 87M0.52Q

Plus Code: 9C2WQWRG+F3

Entry Name: Church of the Holy Spirit

Listing Date: 18 March 1999

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1104271

English Heritage Legacy ID: 474587

Location: Central Southsea, Portsmouth, PO4

County: City of Portsmouth

Electoral Ward/Division: Central Southsea

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Portsmouth

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Portsea Holy Spirit Southsea

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth

Tagged with: Church building

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SZ6599 FAWCETT ROAD, Southsea
774-1/14/487 (North side (off))
Church of the Holy Spirit


Parish church. 1902-24 to the designs of JT Micklethwaite,
succeeded by Sir Charles Nicholson; bombed 1941 and reroofed
and restored 1956-8 by Stephen Dykes Bower incorporating
nineteenth century fittings by Temple Moore from St Agnes,
Kennington, London. Red brick, the walls of great thickness
(3'9"), slate roofs save over east end parish rooms, which
have a flat roof.
PLAN: five-and-a-half bay nave with aisles; two bay chancel,
with shorter two-bay chapel of St John, and Lady Chapel set up
flight of stone sets over vestry to sides. Choir room and
church rooms to east survive less altered after war.
EXTERIOR: is austere, set back behind houses and barely
visible from road before bombing created a narrow gap site in
front. Seven windows to south, nine to north, in Perpendicular
style, with wider five-light west window and high three-light
windows under steep-pitched gables to east end. Entrance from
Fawcett Road has stone surround under flat 1950s porch.
INTERIOR: with C19 arcade (but with capitals removed), rear
gallery over baptistry, chancel mouldings and steps to chapel,
but with arches to Lady Chapel reduced from four to three by
Dykes Bower. The whitening and lightening of entire interior,
with elaborately painted organ case and ceiling, is typical of
his finest work. East window has glass by CE Kempe from St
Bartholomew, also bombed in 1941; more Kempe glass, from St
Agnes, Kennington, in Lady Chapel East window, and (three
panels) in west window; fragments of C19 glass from St
Bartholomew's and St Agnes's in Chapel of St John. Altar has
been moved forward of East end gradine; fitments in memory of
Father Bruce Cornford. Furnishings by Temple Moore, from St
Agnes, Kennington, include pulpit with very elaborate Gothic
traceried patternwork (1891), choir stalls (1900), font and
soaring, elaborate cover (1893). Cast-iron lectern by
Bainbridge Reynolds from St Andrew, Worthing. Organ rebuilt in
the 1950s.
HISTORY: the church was originally built as St Matthew's, for
Father Bruce Cornford (1867-1940), incumbent, for whom
fundraising and the building of the church was his life's
work. He replaced a cast-iron church of 1888 for the new
parish by `slow, hard, unlovely beggary', creating one of the
most elaborate high Anglican churches of the early twentieth

century, particularly noted for its organ and massive First
World War memorial reredos by Nicholson. Its replacement is a
far more austere but no less moving building, relying for its
effects on the expression of space and focal points of
especial interest. St Agnes', itself entirely demolished after
wartime bombing, was a key building in the development of the
later Gothic Revival, to which these few surviving fittings of
exceptional quality and vivacity are a rare clue. Designed by
George Gilbert Scott Junior in 1874-7 and completed by Temple
Moore after 1880, it was influential on several generations of
architects up to and including Dykes Bower, who may be
regarded as the end of a distinguished English tradition in
high church architecture.
(Portsmouth Papers: Hubbock R: Portsea Island Churches:
Portsmouth: 1969-: 16, 25; Portsmouth Local Studies Scrapbook:
Vol 3: 175; The Buildings of England: Pevsner N and Lloyd DW:
Hampshire and the Isle of Wight: Harmondsworth: 1967-: 443-4;
Brandwood GK: Temple Moore, an Architect of the Late Gothic
Revival: Stamford: 1997-: 56-58).

Listing NGR: SZ6516799908

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