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Latitude: 50.3905 / 50°23'25"N
Longitude: -4.1839 / 4°11'2"W
OS Eastings: 244852
OS Northings: 56796
OS Grid: SX448567
Mapcode National: GBR R3H.2C
Mapcode Global: FRA 2830.KSX
Entry Name: Hms Drake Chapel of St Nicholas
Listing Date: 8 July 1998
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1386364
English Heritage Legacy ID: 473749
Location: Plymouth, PL2
County: City of Plymouth
Electoral Ward/Division: Devonport
Built-Up Area: Plymouth
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Plymouth St Peter and the Holy Apostles
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
SX45NW SALTASH ROAD, Devonport
740-1/4/163 (West side)
08/07/98 HMS Drake: Chapel of St Nicholas
Chapel on naval base. 1905-7.
MATERIALS: Dressed Plymouth limestone brought to course and
with limestone dressings; steep slate nave roof behind parapet
and with coped ends; polygonal roof to chancel; lead roofs to
porches and to half dome of baptistry.
STYLE: Gothic Revival.
PLAN: chapel orientated NE-SW the SW being the ritual E end,
the following points of the compass indicating their ritual
positions: tall nave, apsidal chancel and low aisles plus N
and S porches at W end, S vestry at E end of nave and
octagonal baptistery to W end.
EXTERIOR: plinth, triangular buttresses flanking bays (except
for diagonal corner buttresses at W end), mid-floor and
parapet strings and round-arched openings with hoodmoulds;
leaded glazing and V-jointed planked doors with original iron
furniture. Aisle and baptistery windows are traceried lunettes
on a sill string; nave N and S windows are tall 2-light and
traceried like the aisle windows; chancel has tall
single-light windows over crypt with small single-light
windows. The crypt doorway is into the basement of the vestry
which has quatrefoil window to gable above and small flanking
lights lower down. The W window is 5 lights with heads as
transom and 4 lights above. Surmounting the nave gable
adjoining the chancel is a 3-bay stepped and shaped belfry
with 3 bells and a cross finial.
INTERIOR: 11-bay arcades with hexagonal piers with moulded
round arches with hoodmoulds; arched-braced nave roof
springing from moulded corbels plus tie beams; chancel has
barrel-vaulted roof with painted ribs springing from turned
marble shafts. The original space has been subdivided to form
3 separate chapels (Anglican, Roman Catholic and Scottish
FITTINGS: original pitch-pine pews with shaped ends and
V-jointed boards; Octagonal freestone Gothic style pulpit and
C20 freely shaped bronze font.
This chapel has very clean lines appropriate to the naval
tradition and the triangular buttresses and the section of the
arcade piers are perhaps inspired by the shape of ships. In
fact the way the whole building is set on the slope of the
land makes it look like a ship being pushed before a following
HISTORY: the earliest of 4 matching naval barracks churches,
the others, both of brick, are at HMS Pembroke in Chatham and
at the Marines barracks at Deal and Eastney. The architect is
unknown, drawings are signed TNW and dated 1908. An impressive
example of late Gothic Revival architecture within the context
of one of the finest and most complete barrack complexes in
England, manifesting the importance and status of the Royal
Navy at this time.
(The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: Devon: London: 1989-:
Listing NGR: SX4485256796
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