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Christ Church

A Grade II* Listed Building in Hastings, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8538 / 50°51'13"N

Longitude: 0.5594 / 0°33'33"E

OS Eastings: 580243

OS Northings: 109148

OS Grid: TQ802091

Mapcode National: GBR PX9.J6M

Mapcode Global: FRA D61V.5QZ

Plus Code: 9F22VH35+GQ

Entry Name: Christ Church

Listing Date: 14 September 1976

Last Amended: 5 November 2002

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1286965

English Heritage Legacy ID: 293985

Location: Central St. Leonards, Hastings, East Sussex, TN38

County: East Sussex

Electoral Ward/Division: Central St Leonards

Built-Up Area: Hastings

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Christ Church and St Mary Magdalen, St Leonards

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

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St. Leonards


This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 04/09/2019


Christ Church
(Formerly listed as Christ Church and St Mary Magdalen, LONDON ROAD, previously listed as CHRIST CHURCH, LONDON ROAD, ST LEONARDS )


Large town church. Sited on a corner site, the east end overlooking a hill on the main road north through St Leonards, a C19 development. 1873-1875 in Early English style to the designs of Sir Arthur Blomfield, consecrated 1884; tower, also by Blomfield, added in 1894-1895. West end extended by two bays in 1927 to the designs of Mr Hare. Chancel refurbished in 1933.

Rock-faced rubble brought to course, stone dressings; slate roof with coloured bands to nave and chancel, tower with tall stone spire. Nave and chancel with six-bay arcades extending across the transepts. North and south lean-to aisles. North east Lady Chapel; south east vestries, partly in tall block including chancel south gallery and chapel; west end organ gallery; complex of ancillary rooms on south side including unusual mortuary chapel; two porches on north side.

EXTERIOR: impressive east elevation, buttressed, with a five-light chancel east window of stepped lancets below a two-light window in the gable. To north of the chancel a large octagonal tower with lancet windows and a gabled stair turret to north with a doorway from the street. The belfry stage is ashlar masonry. Stone gargoyles project at the base of the stone spire which has two tiers of lucarnes.

Three-storey narrow gabled block to south with three tiers of windows and a carving of King David in the gable. Adjoining to south the east end of a lower, two-bay, two-storey block with lean-to roofs with roofs hipped to the south. This contains the mortuary chapel on the ground floor with its own doorway. Two-bay buttressed north east chapel under a tall lean-to roof with triple lancet windows, the sanctuary of the chapel is in the tower. Gabled porch alongside with carved figure in vessica in gable. To west, paired lancets to the clerestory between pilasters above buttressed lean-to aisle with blind north side; south aisle also blind. The west end addition is blind at clerestory level and has a gabled porch in the west bay on the north side. Triple lancet west end window.

INTERIOR: six-bay arcades with circular piers and moulded capitals. The east piers, in the chancel, have four shafts and stiff-leaf foliage capitals. Cusped timber chancel arch with a circa 1900-1913 rood beam on stone wall shafts. Boarded canted wagon roof with moulded ribs springing from moulded stone corbels, the chancel roof with painted panels. Lean-to aisle roofs with struts to the arcade walls and ties across to the principal rafters. The Lady Chapel has a boarded wagon roof divided into panels by moulded ribs with an elaborately carved and painted wall plate.

Very grand, richly decorated, chancel. Large, architectural three-bay blind arcade across east wall on half-piers with carved capitals with paintings in the apex of the arches and in lower arcading within the arches. The east wall is decorated above with carved figures in elongated quatrefoils and painted decoration including figures. The east wall figure painting was executed under the supervision of Bodley and Hare in 1908. Sedilia on south side with projecting carved angel orchestra in the spandrels, the recesses painted with figures. Plainer blind arcading to match on north, also containing figure paintings, 1908. Large stone drum pulpit with marble figure groups under ogee arches on marble shafts; stem also with marble shafts.

The former late C19 chancel screen was removed during a chancel refurbishment of 1933 to the designs of Sir William Milner and R B Craze. This refurbishment included re-flooring the chancel with marble steps and paving and embellishing the altar with marble cladding and gold mosaic. 1927 west end gallery on a triple arcade of short, round stone piers with capitals, ashlar front to gallery. 1910 wrought iron screen to the west part of the Lady Chapel with elaborate cresting of gilded lilies.

Wallpaintings in the Lady Chapel are by Bodley and Hare and were part of the redecoration scheme of 1906. Large Virgin and Child carved over the arch into the Lady Chapel sanctuary which has a wrought iron sanctuary screen; steep, painted vault and an alabaster altar of 1891. 1905 octagonal stone font, the bowl decorated with crocketted gables on marble shafts with waterleaf bases. Carved timber font cover, rising in tiers to a crocketted spirelet. South east chapel refurbished in 1921 with grilles, altar and reredos designed by Hare. The chapel includes scenes painted on the walls.

High quality C19 stained glass includes clerestory windows of 1904 by Burlison and Grylls, four eastern clerestory windows by Hardman; Lady Chapel windows by Heaton, Butler and Bayne; west window in the gallery by Burlison and Grylls; windows below the west gallery by Heaton, Butler and Bayne.

The church has an unusual mortuary chapel on the south side, used for storage at time of visit (2002) but complete with its fittings and decorations.

An impressive exterior to a large, complex town church. The eastern arm of the interior is architecturally inventive and richly decorated and furnished including early C20 paintings by Bodley and Hare and outstanding stained glass by major Victorian glassmakers.

The church owns two elevational drawings by Blomfield (not showing the tower), which are displayed in the church and others, which are said to be in poor condition (information from the Rev. Harper).

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