Former mission chapel, now hall, 1876 by Arthur Billing. Interior subdivided in 2003 by Nick Shipp Architects.
Reason for Listing
St Dionis' mission hall, of 1876 by Arthur Billing, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: a typically forceful and muscular design by this respected Victorian church architect, unusually well detailed both inside and out, and well-preserved despite horizontal subdivision in 2003;
* Group value: part of a strong visual and functional group with the Grade II listed St Dionis' church and vicarage, the three buildings forming a particularly prominent and attractive ensemble within this leafy suburban townscape.
The present St Dionis' Church at Parsons Green was preceded by a mission chapel and hall of 1876, designed by the prolific church architect Arthur Billing (1824-96) of the firm of Newman and Billing, also responsible for the nearby churches of St Peter, Varna Road and St Andrew, Greyhound Road. After Ewan Christian's new church was opened in 1886, the old chapel ceased to be used for services and became in effect the parish hall. A first floor was inserted in 2003 by Nick Shipp Architects.
MATERIALS: red brick with stone bands and dressings beneath a clay tile roof.
PLAN: originally a single tall space with a small narthex to the west and further entrances to the south. Now subdivided horizontally to form upper and lower halls with toilets, kitchen etc.
EXTERIOR: the style is early French Gothic, typifying the 'muscular' variety of High Victorian ecclesiastical design. The south front to St Dionis Road is nearly symmetrical, with two bays of paired lancets on either side of the main door, the latter very grandly treated with stiff-leaf pilasters supporting a pointed arch surmounted by a crocketed gable and panels of incised ornament. Above, a tall two-light window with a ringed central shaft and a pierced quatrefoil head breaks through the eaves into a steep gabled half-dormer. To the left is a smaller door, also set beneath a crocketed gable. The gabled west front to Parsons Green has three stepped lancets with pierced quatrefoil heads linked by a hood-mould and a flush stone band. The lean-to narthex below is a miniature version of the south front, with a central two-light window and gabled half-dormer.
INTERIOR: a five-bay open hall (now subdivided horizontally) with wall-shafts attached to internal buttresses, rising to stiff-leaf capitals which support the principal members of a scissor-truss roof. The external stone banding runs right through the walls and is visible within as well as without, although the interior brickwork has been painted. At the wall-head is a frieze of pierced quatrefoils containing stencil decoration. At the east end, a broad stone arch encloses the sanctuary recess; its flanking colonettes have capitals linked to those of the wall-shafts by a continuous band of stiff-leaf carving.
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.