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Church of St Catherine

A Grade II Listed Building in Ventnor, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.5947 / 50°35'40"N

Longitude: -1.2067 / 1°12'24"W

OS Eastings: 456244

OS Northings: 77520

OS Grid: SZ562775

Mapcode National: GBR 9F4.MQ5

Mapcode Global: FRA 87CH.FQL

Plus Code: 9C2WHQVV+V8

Entry Name: Church of St Catherine

Listing Date: 30 March 1951

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1224582

English Heritage Legacy ID: 420698

Location: Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Ventnor

Built-Up Area: Ventnor

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Ventnor St Catherine

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth

Tagged with: Church building

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30-MAR-51 (North side)

The nave and west tower were built in 1836-7 by Robert Ebbels. The chancel was added in 1849 and galleries erected in the nave at the same time. In 1897 the south aisle and south porch were added, probably by Edgar J Harvey. In 1910 the chapel was added south of the chancel and chancel furnishings added. The spire was demolished in 1921. In 1963 the clergy vestry was added at the east end of the south aisle. Modern northern extension is not of interest.

MATERIALS: Local coursed stone rubble. The roof material is concealed by parapets. The C20 clergy vestry is constructed of concrete.

PLAN: Nave of five bays with west tower of three stages, south aisle with clerestorey, south porch, two bay chancel and chapel south of chancel.

EXTERIOR: C13 Gothic style. The west tower is in three stages with angle buttresses diminishing to the castellated, corner-turreted parapet. The top or bell stage has pierced wooden screens to the lancet windows. The intermediate stage has an arched window with paired cinquefoils facing west and clock face to south. Below is an arched entrance. A projecting south porch has a gable flanked by angle buttresses with crockets. The north side of the nave has simple lancets with drip-moulding and corbel heads flanked by angle buttresses. The south clerestorey has arched windows of three lights with trefoil heads and below the south aisle has arched windows of three lights with drip-moulding, divided by angle buttresses with gabled heads. The chancel has simple lancet windows to north and south and the east window comprises a triple lancet window flanked by single lancets, all with drip-moulding and corbel heads. On the north side is a projecting gable with blocked arched window. The south chapel is gabled to the south with kneelers and arched window with intersecting arches. To the east is a projecting porch with arched entrance with corbel heads and stairs, L-shaped on plan, with solid stone balustrades. The 1963 clergy vestry is gabled ended with kneelers, has end quoins and arched windows to the ends and flat-arched windows to the north side.

INTERIOR: The nave has a decorated queen post roof of five bays and the tie beams have trefoil decoration to the spandrels and are supported on angel corbels. The south arcade has pointed arches supported on clustered columns, which were blocked c.1971 to provide a parish hall in the south aisle. The 1849 west gallery has splayed ends and panels of carved quatrefoils with blank shields, supported on 4 octagonal wooden columns. Later C19 photographs show there was originally a similar gallery on the north side of the nave. The south aisle has a sloping roof with angled queen struts and bolted knees and is supported on stone corbels. The chancel roof has four simple arch-braced trusses supported on pendant corbels.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: There is an octagonal carved stone font and an octagonal carved wooden pulpit. Two funeral hatchments on the west wall of the nave are probably those of the Hamborough family of Steephill Castle. Below is a marble wall tablet in the form of a sarcophagus with lions' paws and antefixae to the Rev. Philip William Tallents (d. 1843). The south wall of the chancel has a marble wall tablet of a sarcophagus on lion's paws with antefixae and shield to Benjamin Freeman Coleman (d. 1838) and also to John Noble Coleman (d.1872), the first incumbent of the church. A wall tablet to the Rev. John Hall Shaw (d. 1897) records that the south aisle was built as a memorial to him. There are further brass wall memorial tablets. The organ case, chancel choir stalls, lecterns and reredos are of c.1910. The only pictorial stained glass is in the east window, depicting The Good Shepherd flanked by St Luke and St Andrew over Jesus the Healer, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

HISTORY: The site was presented by Major Charles Poplin Hill and the church was erected and endowed at the sole expense of Mr John Hamborough of Steephill Castle. The foundation stone was laid by Mrs Hamborough in June 1836 and the church consecrated on 20 July 1837. The church was presented by Mr Hamborough to the parish, which had formerly been part of the Parish of Newchurch. In 1849 three galleries were erected in the nave but the south gallery was probably dismantled in 1897 when the south aisle was added and the north aisle was dismantled in 1971. A watercolour in the church signed by Edgar J Harvey in June 1896 indicates he was the architect of the south porch and south aisle. The south aisle was carried out as a memorial to the vicar of the church, The Rev. John Hall Shaw, who died in that year. The spire was removed in 1921 because it was leaning.

Lloyd, D and Pevsner, N., The Buildings of England: Isle of Wight (2006), 285.
Morris, G., St Catherine's Church Ventnor (church guide 2008).

The Church of St Catherine, Ventnor, of 1837 with 1897, 1910 and later additions, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Exterior Architectural Interest: an 1837 stone church with prominent west tower, originally crowned by a tall spire, with chancel added in 1849 in similar style and south aisle of 1897.
* Interior Architectural Interest: the nave has an unusually elaborate 1830s queen post roof and 1849 west gallery,
* Memorials of Note: there are a number of C19 memorial wall tablets and furnishings of circa 1910.

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