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Cathedral Church of St Thomas

A Grade I Listed Building in Portsmouth, Portsmouth

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Latitude: 50.7906 / 50°47'26"N

Longitude: -1.1043 / 1°6'15"W

OS Eastings: 463233

OS Northings: 99381

OS Grid: SZ632993

Mapcode National: GBR VNY.GZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 87K0.5MF

Plus Code: 9C2WQVRW+67

Entry Name: Cathedral Church of St Thomas

Listing Date: 10 January 1953

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1333198

English Heritage Legacy ID: 474783

Location: St. Thomas, Portsmouth, PO1

County: Portsmouth

Electoral Ward/Division: St Thomas

Built-Up Area: Portsmouth

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: St Thomas of Canterbury, Portsmouth

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth

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Listing Text


774-1/12/47 (North West side)
10/01/53 Cathedral Church of St Thomas


Chapel of Austin Priory, parish church from 1320 and cathedral
from 1927. Chapel founded c1180 for Jean de Gisors. Choir
probably c1180-90, transepts c1190-1220; old cathedral tower
and nave taken down and replaced by new aisled nave and west
tower 1683-93 the latter with cupola of 1703; C18 and C19
alterations and restoration work; additions 1935-39 by Sir
Charles Nicholson, and 1990-91 (west extension) by Michael
Drury of Winchester. Coursed rubble stone with ashlar
dressings, coursed squared stone and ashlar. Plain tile roofs.
STYLE: Transitional, Early English, Classical and Byzantine.
PLAN: 4-bay aisled nave with clerestory, 2-stage west tower
and transepts at east end containing chapels; extended 1930s
by addition of 3 bays to west, secondary aisles with south
porch and north cloister court; west entrance bay 1990-91.
4-bay aisled choir with south vestry.
EXTERIOR: quoins; buttresses some with offsets; pointed-arched
openings to earlier parts some with hoodmoulds; parapets, some
corbelled, with roll-moulded coping. Tower has clock to upper
stage on south side; parapet with corner merlins; 2-stage
octagonal cupola having angle pilasters, louvred sides, sheet
metal domes with small round-arched lights to lower dome, and
spire finial with weather vane in form of ship (1954
replacement of the original). Nave has 2 tiers of hipped
roofed dormers (C18 in origin). Cusped windows to north
transept. To east end, stepped tripled windows with blocked
roundel over and cross finial. To west end, central
round-arched entrance with 6 round-arched windows over and
flanking towers. North cloister court in C16/C17 style.
INTERIOR: C12 work survives particularly well as choir which
has unusual feature of painted-arched arcades set within
larger round arches, having octagonal piers and clustered
responds with engaged shafts (some of replacement marble);
blind arcades to outer walls; altar recess with plain stone
altar, flanking niches, and windows above having engaged
shafts supporting arches; quadripartite vaults; pointed arch
on clustered columns to nave. Transepts have collared queen
strut roof trusses with butt purlins and straight wind braces.
Nave has tall, late C17, round-arched arcades and richly
decorated modillion cornice.
MONUMENTS: notable monuments include the fine series of C17,

C18, and early C19 wall memorials which have coats of arms,
cherubs, urns, and skulls; of particular note are those in
tower: i) to Sir Charles Blount, d.1600; having tablet in
classical architrave with trophies of war below and armoured
male figure kneeling at altar above: ii) in choir south aisle,
to George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, assassinated in
Portsmouth 1628, possibly by Nicholas Stone and having tablet
flanked by trumpeter and figure holding laurel wreath, eagle
on urn in classical architrave with side-panels depicting
trophies of war, and coat of arms and trumpeting cherubs above
all. Various C18 floor tablets, and other memorials.
FITTINGS: amongst the woodwork of particular note is the 1693
hexagonal, highly-decorated, panelled pulpit on slender column
having turned balusters to stairs up, and 2 fluted columns
with Composite capitals supporting sounding board which is a
1904 replica of the original and has egg-and-dart cornice,
collared soffit carved with flowers and ogee cap supporting
trumpeting angel; late C17 reused panelling in nave piers, and
corporation pew with royal coat of arms of 1695 over mayor's
seat; panelled bowed gallery, 1706, extended 1750; restored
organ case, the original of 1718 by Abraham Jordan Junior,
which has a central figure of David and cherubs, possibly by
Francis Bird. Paintwork includes a mid-C13 wall painting of
Christ seated in judgment, set in vessica in north transept.
Other features of interest include: 4 old banners in north
aisle, and in south aisle fragments of Lord Nelson's HMS
Victory Ensign Flag; octagonal early C16 font having octagonal
column and shields carved on sides; in north aisle of C20 nave
extension, original weather vane, a golden barque with pennant
dated 1710; imported Della Robbia majolica of Madonna and
child; C19 and C20 glass.
(The Buildings of England: Pevsner N & Lloyd DW: Hampshire and
the Isle of Wight: Harmondsworth: 1967-: 393-407; English Life
Publications Ltd.: Rev Knowles G: Portsmouth Cathedral: Derby:

Listing NGR: SZ6322399386

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

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