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Former Presbytery (36 Victoria Grove) and gateway

A Grade II Listed Building in Bridport, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.7352 / 50°44'6"N

Longitude: -2.759 / 2°45'32"W

OS Eastings: 346532

OS Northings: 93115

OS Grid: SY465931

Mapcode National: GBR PP.04V4

Mapcode Global: FRA 5734.GY2

Plus Code: 9C2VP6PR+39

Entry Name: Former Presbytery (36 Victoria Grove) and gateway

Listing Date: 30 October 1974

Last Amended: 14 January 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1287123

English Heritage Legacy ID: 403179

Location: Bridport, Dorset, DT6

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Bridport

Built-Up Area: Bridport

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Bridport St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury

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Former presbytery to Roman Catholic Church of St Mary and St Catherine, and pedestrian gateway. Mid-C19; house altered and extended in the late C20.


Former presbytery to Roman Catholic Church of St Mary and St Catherine, and pedestrian gateway. Mid-C19; house altered and extended in the C20.

MATERIALS: built of stone rubble, flint and red brick, partly rendered, with dressings of ashlar and buff-coloured brick. The roofs are clad in slate with stone copings to the front.

PLAN: the presbytery was formerly attached to the south-east corner of the mid-C19 church and the house incorporates the former vestry at its north-east corner. It is rectangular in plan with a C20 single-storey addition at its south-east corner.

EXTERIOR: the front (west) elevation is of four bays comprising two gabled bays linked by a narrow flat-roofed bay, and a single-storey addition with a flat roof to the right. There are early-C20 parapets with balustrades of quatrefoils to the flat-roofed sections. There is an off-centre entrance with chamfered surround with broach stops and a hoodmould. There is dogtooth decoration to the door case which has a mid-C19 timber door with ornamental hinges, and a fanlight over. The windows are mostly of two-and three lights, some with cusped heads; all have metal casements, hoodmoulds and stone sills. The window to the right-hand bay is transomed, and there is the first-floor window above the doorway has a single light. The left return is blind, having formerly been attached to the church; its north-east corner was rebuilt in brick in the late C20. The rear (east) elevation is much plainer than the front. The ground floor is rendered stone and there is red brick with some dressings of buff brick to the upper half of the building. There are early-C21 uPVC windows to the ground and first floors of the right-hand bay and a small uPVC window to the first floor of the central bay. The ground floor of the south return has uPVC windows to the far right and to the C20 extension, and a timber sash window to the left-hand addition. The first-floor windows are C20 replacements and the one to the right is uPVC. They are set in gablets with decorative bargeboards.

INTERIOR: the mid-C19 internal layout remains largely unchanged except for openings through to the C20 ground-floor additions. There are mid-C19 four-panelled doors, a staircase with turned newels and stick balusters, and original ironwork such as some strap hinges and window catches. The fireplaces have all been blocked and their surrounds removed.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURE: to the front of the house is a pedestrian entrance with ashlar piers and caps and a pair of iron gates with spear finials.


The foundation stone of the first Catholic church in Bridport, situated in Victoria Grove to the north of the town centre, was laid in September 1845. It was dedicated to St Mary and St Catherine. St Catherine was the patron saint of ropemakers and the manufacture of rope, net and twine was Bridport's principal industry for many centuries. The church and the attached presbytery (36 Victoria Grove) were designed by William Fry in a Gothic style. The church was demolished in the late C20 and replaced with a new church, also dedicated to St Mary and St Catherine, on the same site in 1978. The presbytery was retained. The new church was sited towards the back of the plot, adjacent to North Street, so that the C19 church could remain in use until its replacement had been completed. The architect of the late-C20 church has not been established but it is said that the priest at the time chose the design as a copy of a church he admired in Ireland.

The presbytery to the south of the present church was attached to the south-east corner of the mid-C19 church. Planning documents from the 1970s indicate that the church and the presbytery were 'intermixed' and that the scar left by the demolition would be 'made good with a new wall.' The church vestry was originally located within the northern part of the presbytery and this was converted to an office following the demolition. In 1983 listed building consent was granted to remove the chimneystack from the right-hand gabled bay of the presbytery.

Reasons for Listing

The former presbytery (36 Victoria Grove) and pedestrian gateway, dating from the mid-C19 are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: despite the loss of the adjacent Victorian church, it is a competently-designed house in a Gothic style which achieves a picturesque effect through its front elevation and its massing;
* Interior: the house retains mid-C19 internal features including staircase, doors and architrave, and iron fittings;
* Group value: with each other, and they contribute to the urban texture of this area of the town.

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