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Church of St George the Martyr and Railings

A Grade II Listed Building in Brighton and Hove, The City of Brighton and Hove

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Latitude: 50.8182 / 50°49'5"N

Longitude: -0.1193 / 0°7'9"W

OS Eastings: 532577

OS Northings: 103759

OS Grid: TQ325037

Mapcode National: GBR KQH.LMZ

Mapcode Global: FRA B6MX.Z7J

Entry Name: Church of St George the Martyr and Railings

Listing Date: 13 October 1952

Last Amended: 26 August 1999

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1380852

English Heritage Legacy ID: 481176

Location: Brighton and Hove, BN2

County: The City of Brighton and Hove

Electoral Ward/Division: East Brighton

Built-Up Area: Brighton and Hove

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Brighton St George with St Anne and St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

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Listing Text


577-1/49/795 (North side)
13/10/52 Church of St George the Martyr and
(Formerly Listed as:
St George's Church)


Anglican church, now merged with the parishes of St Anne and
St Mark. 1824-1825. Built by architect Charles Augustin Busby
for Developer Thomas R Kemp to serve the estate at Kemp Town;
upper west gallery added by Thomas Cubitt c1835; chancel,
liturgical furnishings, benches, gallery supports and fronts
added in 1890, the architect probably Arthur W Blomfield.
Stock brick in Flemish bond; stucco dressings. Roof of slate.
PLAN: square east end; north-east vestry; rectangular bay; 3
bay narthex; bell turret. Greek Revival style.
EXTERIOR: the entire eastern bay dates from 1890; on the
outside its design repeats motifs from the nave elevations,
windows, entablature, brick in Flemish bond, but the entire is
set back from the plane of the side walls to articulate the
east end in the Victorian fashion. The chancel space projects
slightly from the east elevation and is topped by a triangular
building. The east window to chancel is round arched, of 3
round-arched lights, with traceried head; the upper arc of the
east window deflects the architrave of the entablature. The
sill band to the chancel window is continuous across all 4
elevations, marking, along the nave, the height of the
galleries. Entablature, east window, sill band, entrances,
projecting sills of the other windows, and giant pilasters at
west end are executed in stucco. Round-arched window to either
side of chancel window; below segmental-arched windows to
vestry and organ loft. North and south elevations are nearly
identical, each of 8-window range including the east bay; each
bay has one round-arched window above, lighting galleries, one
segmental-arched window below lighting under galleries.
Flat-arched entrance to south-east corner, with sidelights,
set in an aedicule; 8-panel door of original design. This
doorway repeated in the west face of the single-storey vestry
at the north-east corner, this structure added in 1906. In
each west bay of the nave elevations, a flat-arched door with
architrave and entablature.
The west elevation is the grandest of the 4. Like the east, it
is divided into 3 bays. Each side bay has a flat-arched door,
similar to that in the west bays of the north and south nave
elevations, and a round-arched window above. The centre bay is
treated as a giant distyle in antis porch of the Ionic order;
the entablature steps out above the distyle in antis porch,
forming, in effect, a portico. In the centre of this portico
is a flat-arched door with round-arched window above. Outer
order and entablature topped by a semicircular antefix finial.
Above is a cupola in 3 stages: the first is a Greek cross in
plan with a clock to each of 4 elevations; second is square in
plan with a distyle Tuscan portico to each side spanning a
round-arched opening containing bell louvres; the third is a
square in plan with chamfered corners, a roundel to each long
side; an 8-sided dome terminates the composition.
INTERIOR: entrance through narthex, to north and south of
which are stair wells leading to gallery. East window in
stone, subordered, with springing band across chancel wall
only; reredos of 6 coupled pilasters of the Composite order,
entablature, pediment to centre bay, base of paired high
socles with dado panelling.
The chancel is a memorial to the parents of Sir Charles Lennox
Peel, a descendant of the well known politician and from whom
the congregation bought the freehold of the church in 1889. In
this transaction Sir Charles retained ownership of the Peel
family vault beneath the church. Round arch divides chancel
from north vestry and south organ loft, round arches with
architraves resting on square piers with acanthus capitals;
responds to north, south and east wall. The vestry and loft
each have a round-arched entrance. On axis with chancel piers
and supporting the north and south galleries are full-height,
cast-iron colonnettes which taper to acanthus capitals;
acanthus corbel supports gallery lintel on west face of
chancel piers.
Galleries return across west end on a segmental plan; upper
west gallery follows the same plan as that below but is
narrower. This second west gallery was added in the 1830s by
Thomas Cubitt to accommodate the increase of worshippers who
flocked to St George's after Queen Adelaide made this her
Chapel Royal; as a result this top gallery came to be known as
Queen Adelaide's gallery. The west galleries are supported on
8, plain, cast-iron colonnettes which are off the axis of the
north and south supports. Originally the gallery and roof
supports were of iron cast in the form of Tuscan and Ionic
columns respectively. The effect of the 1890s gallery
supports, their thinness and indeed their style, reflect the
Evangelical form of worship for which St George's had been
known since it first opened. The underside of the gallery
retains its original boarded ceiling. The gallery fronts and
all benches of 1890. The second tier of gallery support an
entablature running east to west, from which springs a
boarded, barrel-vaulted roof of 6 bays articulated by
transverse ribs; each bay subdivided by smaller transverse
ribs into 3 compartments. Flat, boarded ceilings over
galleries, the ribs continuing from the vault to cornice at
top of wall.
Elevation of side walls: panelled dado, segmental-arched
window with wide splays, round-arched window with wide splays
above; all the tinted glass dates from the late C19 or early
C20; glass to east window of late C19, designed in the style
of C13 stained glass. Font placed near west entrance. The west
wall has 3 flat-arched doors with architraves. The organ dates
from the time of the church's construction, when it was
located in the west gallery. In the 1840s the organ was moved
to the east end of the church; at the 1890 renovation, it was
moved to its present location in the gallery of south chancel
bay. The current organ case dates from the 1890 renovation,
when the instrument was rebuilt to give it greater range and
power. The electric lights were installed in 1906. The brass
lectern was given to commemorate Queen Victoria's 1897
HISTORICAL NOTE: Kemp built the church partly as an investment
hoping that pew rents would generate income. Disappointed by
the revenue, decreased by growing opposition to pew rents, he
sold the freehold to Laurence Peel, youngest son of Sir Robert
Peel, the well-known politician whose family owned land in the
(Carder T: The Encyclopaedia of Brighton: Lewes: 1990-: 166A).

Listing NGR: TQ3257703759

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

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