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South Street Free Church

A Grade II Listed Building in Eastbourne, East Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.7666 / 50°45'59"N

Longitude: 0.2795 / 0°16'46"E

OS Eastings: 560846

OS Northings: 98809

OS Grid: TV608988

Mapcode National: GBR MV7.ZD2

Mapcode Global: FRA C7G2.4Q2

Plus Code: 9F22Q78H+JR

Entry Name: South Street Free Church

Listing Date: 8 May 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393286

English Heritage Legacy ID: 496219

Location: Meads, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21

County: East Sussex

District: Eastbourne

Electoral Ward/Division: Meads

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Eastbourne

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Eastbourne St Saviour and St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

Tagged with: Church building

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Description


This list entry was subject to a Minor Amenndment on 11/01/2021 to correct a mispelling in the description and to reformat the text to current standards

623/0/10074

SOUTH STREET
South Street Free Church

08-MAY-09

GV
II
Church, 1903, by Henry Ward of Hastings. Minor later alterations.

EXTERIOR: the church has a single frontage, facing South Street, in an Arts and Crafts style built of red brick with stone bands and dressings. The façade has four components, all with different heights and roof lines, making for a lively composition. In the centre is the tower and main west end of the church, the former square with louvred openings and a short spire, the latter with a pointed gable end and west window in a large semi-circular relieving arch. Beneath the window, which has Arts and Crafts-style plate tracery in an idiosyncratic design, is the main entrance which is round-arched with moulded surround, hood-mould, carved stops, and an engaged fleur-de-lis finial at the apex. To either side of the tower and west end are plainer sections with smaller pointed gables, mullion and transom windows with cusped-foils, and pointed arched windows and a door (to the left) and a vehicle arch (to the right). The return to the right is visible, in plain stock brick. There are foundation and memorial stones in the façade, recording that the first pastor was Revd George Thompson and the builders were Padgham and Hutchinson.

INTERIOR: the five-bay nave has full-height aisle arcades with stiff-leaf capitals and moulded bases, which support a gallery. The gallery also runs across the west end, although the area beneath has been glazed in here and the pews removed to create a foyer. The gallery fronts are in a quatrefoil design which continues around the organ loft front at the apsidal east end. There is a clerestory and a handsome timber roof with curved arch braces. All the windows are set in stone surrounds, most attractive where they haven't been subsequently painted, and have panes of coloured and clear glass. The original bench pews survive in the nave, aisles and galleries but the organ has been removed and the reading desks are modern. The altar is a later addition dating to the 1930s. Elsewhere in the building, there are surviving doors, windows, fireplaces, and staircases (one with iron balustrade and moulded timber handrail). There is a hall to the left-hand side of the nave with a ceiling supported by iron colonettes, which has been partitioned-off from part of the original side aisle.

HISTORY: The South Street Free Church was built as a Congregational Church by a group of non-conformists originally from Pevensey Road Congregational Church who since 1897 had occupied Grove Hall, Saffrons Road. At this time, Eastbourne was a burgeoning, genteel seaside resort and so the congregation would have been drawn from visitors as well as locals. In 1914 the Trustees of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion assumed responsibility for the building.

Henry Ward (1854-1927) was an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a prolific and capable architect of buildings in the East Sussex area. He came from London, studied in Paris and moved to Hastings for health reasons. By 1881 he was Borough Surveyor. In private practice he worked with WL Vernon designing mostly public and commercial buildings. Ward designed the town halls at Hastings (1881, Grade II listed) and Bexhill-on-Sea (1898), the Buchanan Hospital Elizabeth Mason Wing, St Leonards on Sea (1907), the Buccaneer public house in Eastbourne, the bar and the tile murals at Havelock Public House, Hastings (Grade II) and the Plummer Roddis Department Store, Hastings (1927). He was also responsible for several other churches including St Stephen's (1898) and St John's, Victoria Road (1897) in Bexhill-on-Sea and the United Reform Church, Robertson Street (1884) in Hastings.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: South Street Free Church is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* the façade to South Street displays the quality of materials, characterful asymmetry and quirky plays on traditional motifs that are hallmarks of the Arts and Crafts style;
* an attractive tower, cleverly proportioned to be a landmark in the road without dominating the restricted façade;
* by Henry Ward, a local architect of note;
* interior is interesting too, for its handsome aisled nave with galleries, apsidal east end, and arch braced roof;
* group value with the Grade II-listed Eastbourne Town Hall of 1884-6 by W Tadman-Faulkes, which closes the road.

Reasons for Listing


South Street Free Church is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* the façade to South Street displays the quality of materials, characterful asymmetry and quirky plays on traditional motifs that are hallmarks of the Arts and Crafts style;
* an attractive tower, cleverly proportioned to be a landmark in the road without dominating the restricted façade;
* by Henry Ward, a local architect of note;
* interior is interesting too, for its handsome aisled nave with galleries, apsidal east end, and arch braced roof;
* group value with the Grade II-listed Eastbourne Town Hall of 1884-6 by W Tadman-Faulkes, which closes the road.


External Links

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