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Church of St Saviour

A Grade II Listed Building in Folkestone, Kent

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Latitude: 51.0894 / 51°5'22"N

Longitude: 1.1819 / 1°10'54"E

OS Eastings: 622918

OS Northings: 137053

OS Grid: TR229370

Mapcode National: GBR W1V.RLX

Mapcode Global: FRA F6C7.N88

Entry Name: Church of St Saviour

Listing Date: 20 April 1977

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1251151

English Heritage Legacy ID: 433780

Location: Folkestone, Shepway, Kent, CT19

County: Kent

District: Shepway

Civil Parish: Folkestone

Built-Up Area: Folkestone

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

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Listing Text


1890-1913 by Somers Clarke and J T Micklethwaite. Reordering and bricking off of the W part of the church for multi-purpose use 1984-9 by David Irwin of Kenneth Waite and Partners of Folkestone.

MATERIALS: Kentish ragstone with brick dressings. Doulton terracotta for the windows and pinnacles. Red clay tile roofs.

PLAN: Nave, chancel, N and S aisles, N vestibule in angle of N aisle and nave, S porch, N vestry and sacristy. The two W bays divided off from the worship area.

EXTERIOR: The exterior presents a strong visual contrast between the mellow colour of ragstone with bright red brick and terracotta. The other surprising feature is the two tier, triple bellcote and its wavy outline. The aisles are lean-tos and have embattled parapets with buttresses demarcating the bays and which terminate in small pinnacles with ogee terracotta cappings. The aisle fenestration is of three-light Perpendicular windows with busy tracery. The chancel, which projects by one bay beyond the aisles, has a five-light east window with the same style of tracery as the other windows. There is no clerestory.

INTERIOR: The interior walls were originally of bare red brick but were distempered under a scheme of 1939: no doubt the whitening of the roofs is of the same time. A further reordering in the 1980s and reflooring in c2004 create the interior seen today. Architecturally the building has simple lines as was often the case with late Victorian churches. There are broad, (originally) seven-bay aisles flanking the nave and chancel but stopping one bay short of the E end. The arcade consists of lozenge-shaped piers which run without capitals into the arches. Shafts rise from the valleys to the springing of the roof which is keel-shaped.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The church is plainly appointed. The font is a fine piece, made of Frosterley-type marble: it is octagonal, has a straight-sided bowl and a base with fluted sides. A hanging rood marks the start of the chancel area. The seats are modern chairs (the church was seated with chairs from the start). There is stained glass at the E end while the clear-glazed windows have attractively-leaded roundels of stylised flowers.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: W of the S aisle is a First World War memorial with three steps, a very weather-beaten shaft and a Crucifixion at the head.

HISTORY: St Saviour's began in 1880 as a mission in what was a poor part of northern Folkestone. A building in Sydney Street which had been a baker's shop was acquired and adapted as a chapel, Sunday school and cocoa tavern. In October 1880 the Sisters of the Community of St John the Baptist at Clewer, Berkshire, became involved with the project. They had first come to Folkestone in 1867 to work at St Peter's mission. Two sisters came to live at 19 Sydney Street and the following month the first service was held. Early in 1888 a building fund for a permanent church and Somers Clark (then in partnership with J T Micklethwaite) was appointed as architect. He was a good friend of the priest, Father Day, who was to be at St Saviour's for 50 years: both men were Anglo-Catholic in their churchmanship.

The site for the church, which had been a market garden, was given by Lord Radnor and groundwork for the building began in November 1889 under the contractor, William Dunk of Folkestone. There were difficulties of drainage and the foundation stone was not laid until 12 May 1891 [date from Tricker]. The original plans envisaged a large W tower but this was given up for a bellcote of 1899. It was also planned to face the walls with flint but this was dropped for reasons of expense and ragstone was used instead. A further unrealised intention was to plaster the brick interior walls and decorate them with sgraffito. Building work proceeded in stages and the church was at last consecrated on 25 July 1900. The later work on the church seems to have involved J T Micklethwaite as architect. His is the choir vestry of 1907 and the S aisle and SE porch were completed in 1913. An inscription in the SW porch says the church was commenced in 1890 and was built in memory of Mother Harriet (d 1883), the first mother superior of the Community of St John the Baptist. The total cost of the church was £12,947 (including £1,648 for the terracotta). The bare brick internal walls were distempered under a scheme formulated in 1939. Major changes took place in the 1980s. In 1986 the Dias for a forward altar was built and the previous altar, a marble slab, was sunk into the floor at the E end. The greatest change, however, was the bricking off of the W part of the church to form a multi-purpose parish centre, completed in 1988. The organ loft was completed in 1989. The present wooden floor was installed c2004.

Roy Tricker, St Saviour's Church: a History, n d [c1990s].
Incorporated Church Building Society papers, Lambeth Palace Library, file 9461.
John Newman, The Buildings of England: Kent: North East and East, 1983, p 325.

The church of St Saviour, Shepway, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is of special interest as a large, late Victorian Gothic Revival church in Perpendicular style and presenting a vibrant polychrome exterior of ragstone and red brick and terracotta. Internally the architecture has clear, simple lines which are typical of late Victorian and Edwardian church architecture although the original appearance of this spacious building has been much changed by the walling off of the W bays for a multi-purpose church centre.

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

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