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Latitude: 50.7329 / 50°43'58"N
Longitude: -2.821 / 2°49'15"W
OS Eastings: 342157
OS Northings: 92908
OS Grid: SY421929
Mapcode National: GBR PM.V61R
Mapcode Global: FRA 47Z4.NTP
Entry Name: Mortuary Chapel (Roman Catholic) Including Walls and Gates
Listing Date: 10 January 1984
Last Amended: 22 February 2010
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1288009
English Heritage Legacy ID: 400881
Location: Chideock, West Dorset, Dorset, DT6
District: West Dorset
Civil Parish: Chideock
Built-Up Area: Chideock
Traditional County: Dorset
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset
Church of England Parish: Chideock St Giles
Church of England Diocese: Salisbury
104/9/82 NORTH ROAD
10-JAN-84 Mortuary Chapel (Roman Catholic) Inclu
ding Walls and Gates
(Formerly listed as:
MORTUARY CHAPEL (ROMAN CATHOLIC))
Roman Catholic Mortuary Chapel including walls and gates, dating from 1857, designed by Charles Weld (1812-1885).
MATERIALS: The building is constructed from rubble limestone and flint with limestone (probably hamstone) dressings, set under a grey slate roof. The boundary wall is rubble stone and flint with ashlar gate piers and wrought iron gates.
PLAN: Cruciform, in a modest footprint.
EXTERIOR: Each of the four elevations is of similar proportions with a steeply pitched gable end and diagonal buttresses with set-offs. The transepts have plain and fish-scale slate roofs. A squat square tower with pyramidal roof rises above the centre. The front (north) elevation has a wide shouldered doorway with straight-chamfered jambs. The door is constructed of slender timber planks and features elaborate wrought iron strap hinges. Above the door is a Latin-inscribed tympanum set beneath a round-headed arch. There is an oval window above. A stone step leading to the doorway sits within a concrete slab. A stone plinth surrounds the exterior of the chapel. A lancet window is set in the chancel wall to the east of the north transept. The east wall is dominated by a large cross of brick headers which has a lozenge stone centre with Alpha and Omega and the crossed keys of the Papal insignia. Another lancet window is in the south-facing wall of the chancel. The south transept wall has a quatrefoil window in the gable end and the segmental head of a former crypt door is visible at the base of the elevation, partly obscured by the stone plinth. A low relief stone rood of Christ Crucified is on west wall. INRI is inscribed over the figure of Christ with two doves and lamb. There are foliage and nail-head ornament in the spandrels. Above is an oval window in mandorla form. An iron crucifix is fixed to the apex of the tower roof. A rectangular rubble stone wall, with ashlar gate piers and wrought iron gates provide a retaining boundary to the chapel. The ornamental gates feature religious emblems.
INTERIOR: The central chamber of the chapel is dominated by four deeply chamfered ashlar stone columns at each corner, rising to form pointed arches. The tower walls and the transept roofs are richly painted with religious iconography and inscriptions. The interior is simply furnished, with timber steps and dais supporting a carved stone altar in the east chancel, which has colonettes to the corners and a central cross with Alpha and Omega carved on diamond-shaped lozenges at either side. The walls are decorated at dado level with patterned mosaic-style tiling and a decorative terracotta rail featuring religious symbols. The walls are covered in traditional plaster and contain lancet windows and simple painted round-headed arches. There is a dentilled, triple-cornice of terracotta in the transepts, above which the walls and ceilings are painted in richly-hued religious iconography in the manner of the Italian Primitives, depicting English Martyrs and other religious iconography, such as depictions of Christ Crucified on the tower walls and a portrait of Christ above the oval window in the north transept. Some decoration is spoilt due to water damage. There is fine stone corbelling at the base of the tower, which is also richly painted. The upper part of the tower has a timber structure. The floor coverings are of stone slab and red brick. A sealed entrance to a crypt lies in the south transept and a plinth is fitted between floor and dado level.
HISTORY: The Gothic detailed chapel was completed in 1857, to the design of the son of the Lord of the Manor, Charles Weld. The chapel took a number of years to complete as Weld added an unusual, lavish painted interior. Weld's next project was the nearby church, a Basilica on a grand scale with expensive marble fittings and more rich decoration. The chapel has been relatively unmodified since its construction (receiving repairs and possibly an external stone plinth) and it appears on the Ordnance Survey Maps of 1889, 1903 and 1929 with its current plan.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
Chideock Mortuary Chapel is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* The chapel features rich artistic details of considerable quality, and which mark an early demonstration of ideas which came to underlie the Arts and Crafts Movement.
* This building is an important landmark in the story of Catholic Recusancy and Emancipation, notably of the Welds of Dorset.
* Complete mid-C19 Roman Catholic Mortuary Chapels are very rare.
* The boundary walls and gates form an historic ensemble with the chapel.
Constantinides, I, The Weld Mausoleum, Chideock, Condition report by St Blaize (2008); Martin & Ramsay, A Glimpse of Heaven: Catholic Churches of England And Wales, English Heritage (2006); Vail, A, Shrines of our Lady in England (2004)
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