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The Royal Dockyard Church

A Grade II* Listed Building in Gillingham, Medway

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Latitude: 51.3926 / 51°23'33"N

Longitude: 0.5269 / 0°31'36"E

OS Eastings: 575897

OS Northings: 168975

OS Grid: TQ758689

Mapcode National: GBR PPP.N1D

Mapcode Global: VHJLV.28W9

Entry Name: The Royal Dockyard Church

Listing Date: 24 May 1971

Last Amended: 25 February 2011

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1268203

English Heritage Legacy ID: 462105

Location: Medway, ME4

County: Medway

Electoral Ward/Division: River

Built-Up Area: Gillingham

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Gillingham St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

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Listing Text

762-1/1/74 MAIN GATE ROAD
(South side)
(South side)

Church. 1808-1811 by Edward Holl, architect for the Navy Board. Late Georgian Classical Style.

MATERIALS: brick with stone dressings and a slate roof, internal cast-iron members.

PLAN: rectangular plan.

EXTERIOR: two storeys and basement; three-bay east end. The wide pedimented ends have recessed outer bays, with plat band and eaves cornice all round. The east end has a central Venetian window, and outer segmental-arched ground-floor windows and first-floor round-arched windows set in matching recesses; metal framed windows. Six-bay north and south sides with windows as the end outer bays. West end of five bays, with a central doorway with moulded surround and bracketed cornice, to double doors each with eight raised panels, and lower outer doorways with architraves and pulvinated frieze and cornice, to eight-panel doors, and intermediate segmental-arched windows; upper windows as the sides, with an oculus in the pediment.

INTERIOR: a largely complete interior has a gallery on three sides on reeded cast-iron columns and the Royal Coat of Arms to the centre, panelled wainscot and gallery; panelled plaster ceiling; decorated east window with gilded Corinthian capitals. Wide timber roof trusses with queen and prince posts. Most of the original fittings replaced: C19 benches to the gallery, and a good late C19 octagonal pulpit with an iron rail to curved steps, turned posts to the corners and arched panels.

HISTORY: before the construction of the Chapel, employees used the local church or converted hulks moored at the quay.
Notable for its plan modelled on Non-conformist chapels, as are the dockyard chapels at Portsmouth and Sheerness (qqv), and occupying a strong position facing the entrance to the Yard. Contains the earliest use of structural cast-iron in a royal dockyard. An important part of a complete Georgian dockyard.

Newman, J, Buildings of England: West Kent and the Weald (1976) p 205;
Coad, J, Historic Architecture of Chatham Dockyard 1700-1850 (1982) p 169;
Coad, J, Historic Architecture of the Royal Navy (1983), p 117;
Coad, J, The Royal Dockyards 1690-1850 (1989) p 27-28.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The Royal Dockyard Church is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* architectural interest: early-C19 dockyard church notable for its plan modelled on non-conformist chapels and largely complete interior;
* historical interest: as a part of the world's most complete example of an historic dockyard from the age of sail and early steam;
* technological innovation: earliest use of structural cast-iron in a royal dockyard.

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

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