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Church of St Osmund

A Grade II* Listed Building in Penn Hill, Poole

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Latitude: 50.7244 / 50°43'27"N

Longitude: -1.9386 / 1°56'18"W

OS Eastings: 404431

OS Northings: 91647

OS Grid: SZ044916

Mapcode National: GBR XZ2.B1

Mapcode Global: FRA 67T5.BL9

Entry Name: Church of St Osmund

Listing Date: 30 June 1980

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1273602

English Heritage Legacy ID: 412427

Location: Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, BH14

County: Poole

Electoral Ward/Division: Penn Hill

Built-Up Area: Poole

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Parkstone St Peter and St Osmund with Branksea St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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Listing Text


958-1/5/243 (South side)
30/06/80 Church of St Osmund


Church. Early C20. East end, crossing, N transept and
beginning of aisled nave built 1904-05 by GAB Livesey of
Bournmouth in free Byzantine style. Completed by Professor ES
Prior in partnership with Arthur Grove 1913-16, work which
included the dome and rebuilt transepts. Dome partly rebuilt
1922-24 by Sidney Tugwell upon discovery of cracks in dome.
Choir vestry with sacristy built 1927 to Prior's original
design. S aisle rebuilt 1950 by L Magnus Austin upon failure
of vault. Extended 1991 with construction of parish room.
MATERIALS: first phase of brick with roughcast render and red
terracotta dressings, continued by Prior in thin hand-made
brick, specially made locally near Wareham, ranging in colour
from yellow, through shades of red, to brown and purple, laid
in Flemish bond with red and yellow terracotta dressings and
reinforced concrete vaults. Clay pantile roofs except for
copper roofs of dome and apex.
PLAN: apsed chancel, domed crossing, transepts and nave form
Latin cross within rectangle completed by choir vestry and
sacristy to N of chancel, chapel to S and nave aisles.
EXTERIOR: E end has 1-bay chancel with eastern apse and
semicircular ambulatory. Ambulatory has round-arched red
terracotta corbel table and cavetto-moulded yellow terracotta
eaves and ridged pantile roof.
Apse is articulated by red terracotta pilaster strips dividing
apse wall into regular panels with 3 round-arched heads, and
has moulded frieze and semicircular brick coping with pair of
green glazed terracotta colonnettes supporting coping gablet
either side. They are mounted on diagonal pilaster buttresses
framing gable wall.
Chancel has a 2-light window either side with round-arched
heads to lights with plain jambs and central shaft with
composite capital; round-arched corbel table and moulded
yellow terracotta eaves. S chancel chapel has apsidal E end,
which has 3 small windows at high level with round-arched
heads, corbelled brick eaves, pantile roof and gablet over
apse framing relief carving of cross and date 1916. Covered
stair to S side lit by 1-light window with triangular heads
and plain-tile roof. Later C20 addition projects to S of
chapel apse.
2-storey, 3-bay vestry and sacristy range to N side of
chancel, the same height as N aisle, has shallow segmental
apse to E end with small round-headed windows at 1st-floor
level. N side has 2 windows and door beside transept with
round-arched heads and circular windows to 1st floor, all with
raised brick, splayed surrounds; semicircular attached brick
shafts between bays, doubled to angles rising from plinth and
merging with parapet corbelled out on segmental arches and
with rounded brick coping.
Transepts have a circular red terracotta window with 8
divisions round octagonal centre to gable walls at high level
with raised brick, splayed surrounds framed by ridged brick
string courses top and bottom and by semicircular attached
shafts either side joining parapets corbelled out on segmental
brick arches with rounded brick coping. Corbelled brick eaves
to side walls of transepts.
N transept has semicircular brick shaft to centre of wall
below window and similar paired shafts to corners and either
side. S transept does not project as far as N transept and has
niche to gable framed by similar shafts, and aisle in front
with pair of windows with round-arched heads and raised brick
splayed surrounds separated by central semicircular attached
shaft. Low circular dome has circular windows with similar
surrounds to intermediate directions, brick frieze corbelled
out on segmental brick arches, stepped brick eaves and conical
Nave has clerestorey with 5 bays of circular windows with
similar surrounds and corbelled brick eaves continuing
transept eaves. Aisles have 5 bays of large windows with
round-arched heads with similar surrounds and parapets lke
those to vestry range. N aisle has similar brick shafts
between bays, paired to alternate bays and to each end. Aisle
roof is broken by slopes of internal buttresses joining
similar shafts to clerestorey. S aisle has prominent offset
brick buttresses with round-headed arches outside aisle walls
and pair of continuous semicircular brick mouldings like
shafts following slopes and offsets of buttresses.
Aisles have further recessed bay to west end, that to N with
double-leaf N door and wide terracotta surround with
flat-arched head and niche above door framing Portland stone
statue of St Osmund by Alec Miller. These bays have parapets
continuing those of aisles and 2 windows to W at same height
as niche and of similar proportions with round-arched heads.
Some shafts to angles and single shaft between windows.
West front has double-leaf central door with plain terracotta
surround with flat-arched head, deeply recessed within brick
splays and broad segmental terracotta arch decorated in relief
with vine trail. Arch supports arcaded brick balustrade
between polygonal turrets which flank nave front with
triangular heads to arches and stepped brick parapet (now
dismantled). Large circular terracotta window above, with 12
divisions round inner circle.
Window is set against background of square brick panels with
central raised lozenges. Round-headed arcaded gallery above,
then diapered brick panelling below stepped brick cornice.
Flanking turrets have semicircular attached brick shafts to
centre of side beginning at level of springing of segmental
entrance arch. Left turret has small windows with triangular
heads lighting stair. Turrets have projecting corbelled brick
frieze on segmental arches and stepped brick eaves below
sloping base of lantern turrets which have narrow round-headed
openings and scalloped conical brick roofs. Nave gable between
turrets has stepped rounded brick coping and diamond patterned
brick pediment. Church has battered plinths with roll-moulded
terracotta coping.
INTERIOR: chancel apse has semicircular peristyle to
ambulatory with fluted Ionic columns bearing curved
entablature, all of red terracotta. Semi-dome of apse is
framed by buff terracotta arch on plain terracotta piers
jointed to resemble ashlar with red terracotta Byzantine-style
capitals. Similar round arches, piers and capitals to crossing
with yellow terracotta winged angel busts to angles. Curved
walls flank steps up to chancel with balustrades, all in buff
Nave has similar terracotta transverse piers and arches with
red terracotta capitals decorated with moulded foliage
ornament in relief. Timber roofs between arches with chamfered
ridge pieces and rafters. 3-bay arcades with plain pilaster
piers and round arches in buff terracotta and thin moulded
capitals in red terracotta with egg and dart decoration.
Similar transverse arches to aisles and reinforced concrete
groin vaults.
Outer aisles with transverse arches pierced through internal
buttresses with segmental-arched heads and concrete barrel
vaults borne on intermediate columns between principal
buttress piers to give 6 bays either side corresponding with
windows; plain classical columns with moulded bases on square
plinths and red terracotta capitals with foliage decoration,
bearing plain lintels.
FITTINGS: High Altar has baldacchino based on that of St
Clemente, Rome. Wrought-iron railings to peristyle are C18 and
from St Mary le Bow in the City of London. Altar cross and 6
candlesticks 1925 by Bainbridge Reynolds. Tabernacle and
candlesticks in the Incarnation Chapel to S of chancel and
altar cross to Lady Chapel in S transept by same artist.
Grille in arch between the 2 chapels decorated in gold, black
and white with painted relief of the Annunciation by McDonald
Gill. Inscriptions to altar of the Incarnation and over the
sacristy door by his brother Eric Gill. Pulpit of coloured
marbles with mosaic panels of 1922. Lectern of 1926 by
Bainbridge Reynolds with reading desk and candlesticks of
hand-beaten bronze. Medieval fluted limestone font bowl,
probably C13 from Sturminster Marshall on square stone base by
ES Prior with hollow-chamfered angles. More wrought-iron
railings in crypt from St Mary le Bow originally enclosing
Tomb of Thomas Newton, Bishop of Bristol, d.1782.
STAINED GLASS of Prior's thick hand-made patent glass in
abstract patterns.
MEMORIALS: War Memorial in S aisle with statue of Christ as
Christus Rex 1920 by McDonald Gill.
St Osmund's was Prior's last major work.
(Buildings of England: Pevsner N & Newman J: Dorset: London:
1972-: 334-336; Service A: Edwardian Architecture: London:
1977-: 126-127; Williamson T: A short history and guide:
Poole: 1975-).

Listing NGR: SZ0038890229

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 17 August 2017.

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

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