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Christ Church

A Grade II Listed Building in Gedney, Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.8495 / 52°50'58"N

Longitude: 0.1407 / 0°8'26"E

OS Eastings: 544254

OS Northings: 330152

OS Grid: TF442301

Mapcode National: GBR KZL.6DX

Mapcode Global: WHJNJ.4M8T

Plus Code: 9F42R4XR+R7

Entry Name: Christ Church

Listing Date: 10 July 2008

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1392649

English Heritage Legacy ID: 496122

Location: Gedney, South Holland, Lincolnshire, PE12

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Gedney

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Gedney Drove End Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

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Description

GEDNEY

1514/0/10012 CHURCH STREET
10-JUL-08 Gedney Dawsmere
Christ Church

GV II
Church, 1869-70, by Ewan Christian in an Early English style.

MATERIALS: Red brick with stone bands and slate roof.

PLAN: Nave and apsidal chancel in one, with a S porch and a small vestry to the N of the chancel.

EXTERIOR: A large roof is swept down over the nave and curved apse. The vestry has a catslide roof and there is a wooden bellcote with a fl├Ęche over the chancel. Around the apse and the south and north sides there are lancet windows with red brick voussoirs. The foundation stone of 1869 is in the centre of the apse wall. On the west side there are two tall lancet windows with billet moulding and a dog-tooth eaves course. The south porch has a pointed arch with billet moulding and a dog-tooth eaves course. The door to the church has decorative wrought iron strap hinges.

INTERIOR: The interior walls are of exposed red brick with stone dressings. The apse roof is rendered and has thin wooden ribs. The lancet windows in the apse have deep reveals and stained glass depicting Christ, St Mark and St Luke. The chancel rail has foliated wrought iron supports. The choir stalls and lectern in the chancel appear to be original, while the carved wooden reredos and pulpit in a Decorated Gothic style are probably later additions. A pointed arch leads from the chancel into the vestry, which also contains the organ. The nave has a large scissor-truss roof and a complete set of functional Gothic benches on platforms. At the west end there is a carved octagonal stone font with floral encaustic tiles in the base.

HISTORY: Until 1850 there was only one centre of population in Gedney Marsh, which was called Drove End. In 1855 the prominent politician Edward Cardwell (later Viscount Cardwell) and his brother Charles bought some 3,000 acres of land in Gedney Marsh. The Marsh had a creek running through it, named Daws Mere Creek, probably after Sir Abraham Dawes who undertook the reclamation of the land from the sea in 1660. The Cardwell brothers set about building a new village at Dawsmere, some 1 1/4 miles from Drove End. The cottages were built in pairs, and there was a smithy, a joiners shop, a school, a shop and a parsonage. There was also a site for a church, along with half the money to build it. The ecclesiastical district of Drove End was created in 1855, but it took another 15 years to build a church. During that period services were held in the kitchen at Red House Farm and in the school at Dawsmere from 1857. In 1869 the foundation stone was laid for Christ Church, Dawsmere, and the church was consecrated on 7 April 1870 by Bishop Wordsworth. The church was designed by Ewan Christian and built to hold 192 worshippers.

Ewan Christian (1814-1895) was a prolific architect with 2,040 works to his name including 90 new churches and many church restorations. He was architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners from 1851 until his death. A devout evangelical churchman, he favoured auditory rather than highly ritualistic designs. His most important secular commission was the National Portrait Gallery in London (1890-95, Grade I). He was President of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1884-6. His contemporaries considered him 'a safe man', 'in no sense a heaven-born genius, or even possessed of brilliant parts, but a man of inflexible honesty, great industry and great business capabilities'.

SOURCES:
Nikolaus Pevsner and John Harris, Buildings of England. Lincolnshire, 2nd edn revised by Nicholas Antram (Yale, 2002), 307.
Martin Cherry, 'Christian, Ewan (1814-1895)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004).
RIBA, Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (Continuum, 2001), Vol. 1, 372-3.
J. A. Gotch (ed.), The Growth and Work of the Royal Institute of British Architects 1834-1934 (RIBA, 1934).
Dawsmere church leaflet.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION:
Christ Church is designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Built in 1869-70 to the designs of Ewan Christian, it is a subtle example of his prolific work as architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1851-95
* The exterior of the church, with its careful detailing and restrained polychromy, blends in harmoniously with the rural surroundings
* The interior retains a complete decorative scheme with stained glass, font, choir stalls, benches and altar rail
* It has historic interest associated with the development of the marshlands in the mid C19 and the need to provide nearer worship space for the rising number of marshland farmers
* It has group value with the former vicarage, also by Christian, and with the war memorial in the churchyard.

Reasons for Listing

Christ Church is designated for listing at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:
* Built in 1869-70 to the designs of Ewan Christian, it is a subtle example of his prolific work as architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1851-95
* The exterior of the church, with its careful detailing and restrained polychromy, blends in harmoniously with the rural surroundings
* The interior retains a complete decorative scheme with stained glass, font, choir stalls, benches and altar rail
* It has historic interest associated with the development of the marshlands in the mid C19 and the need to provide nearer worship space for the rising number of marshland farmers
* It has group value with the former vicarage, also by Christian, and with the war memorial in the churchyard.

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