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Church of St Mary Magdalene, Petersfield

Description: Church of St Mary Magdalene

Grade: II
Date Listed: 19 February 1973
English Heritage Building ID: 141329

OS Grid Reference: SU7579924593
OS Grid Coordinates: 475799, 124593
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0157, -0.9208

Location: Farnham Road, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 2AW

Locality: Petersfield
Local Authority: East Hampshire District Council
County: Hampshire
Country: England
Postcode: GU32 2AW

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Explore more of the area around Petersfield, Hampshire at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

847/2/158 FARNHAM ROAD
(East side)

(Formerly listed as:

1868-9 by Sir Arthur Blomfield.

MATERIALS: Local coursed rubble, with Bath stone dressings and a pitched tile roof.

PLAN: Nave (with no aisles) and chancel separated by a chancel arch, with a large tower and steeple on its south side featuring a clock and bell, and vestry, opposite the tower on the north side.

EXTERIOR: A Gothic Revival style church to a simple plan. The nave is of four bays and the chancel of two, separated by a chancel arch. The tower is the dominating feature. Consisting of three stages with stepped angle buttresses, it is surmounted by a shingled eight sided broach spire with a clock face in the base of the spire on four sides. The nave bays are delineated on the northern façade by stepped buttresses as well as cusping buttresses to the south corners. The porched entrance is within the second bay on the south side. Early English, designed in the style of the C13, it is memorable for its tall spire and rock-faced masonry.

At the E end is a large window of three single lights and traceries, with stained glass based on cartoons by Henry Holiday, installed in 1886. At the W end is a splayed mullioned window with a roundel. Windows on the north side of the chancel have plate tracery with clover-leaf aperture, elsewhere they have flowing tracery decoration. There is stained glass in some of the nave windows.

INTERIOR: The church is open to the roof structure, of double trusses on alternate principal rafters, and collar beams with alternate collar braces. The wall beams rest on stone corbels. The capitals on each side of the chancel arch are enriched with naturalistic lilies and passion flowers.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The reredos is an alabaster framed panel of opus sectile depicting two kneeling angels bearing scrolls amid vine branches and ears of corn, installed in 1907. A number of memorials to local soldiers and noteable people are present. Adjacent to the organ on the south wall of the chancel, built by Norman and Beard and donated, in 1913 by Phillip and Thomas Tillard to replace a harmonium, is a memorial dedicated to Katherine Cavill, organist for 18 years, who died in 1911. Other memorials include one to William Guy - Lance Corporal 9th Queens Royal Lancers, killed in action at Leuwfontain, South Africa, September 27th 1901 age 24 years; and to Philip Algernon Tillard and Thomas Atkinson Tillard both killed in action in 1916. There is a simple circular stone font with carvings of Christian emblems around the outside rim.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The Cornish granite war memorial, with its Roll of Honour to members of the parish who were killed in both World Wars, to the east of the church is separately listed at Grade II (UID 494651).

HISTORY: The Church of St. Mary Magdalene is built on land donated by John Bonham-Carter MP of Adhurst St Mary, and was consecrated in 1868 and dedicated to St Mary. The name was later changed to St Mary Magdalene. Sheet only acquired parish status in 1989; before then it had formed part of Petersfield. It was built in 1868-9, by Mr Fletcher of Salisbury at a cost of £3,000 raised by local subscription, to the design of one of the most active and successful church architects of the Gothic revival, Arthur William Blomfield (1829-99), fourth son of Bishop Charles J Blomfield of London (bishop 1828-56). Blomfield was articled to PC Hardwick and began independent practice in 1856 in London. His early work is characterised by a strong muscular quality and the use of structural polychrome often with continental influences. He became diocesan architect to Winchester, hence a large number of church-building commissions are to be found throughout the diocese. He was also architect to the Bank of England from 1883. Blomfield was knighted in 1889 and was awarded the RIBA's Royal Gold Medal in 1891. Blomfield's sons joined their father in the practice, Charles James (1862-1932), in 1890, and Arthur Conran (1863-1935). Like many another practice they kept the great man's name in the title after his death in 1899. The tower and steeple were built at a cost of £500 by the late Bishop Sumner (1790-1874) as a thank-offering on his recovery from a protracted illness. The four-faced clock was financed by public subscription and installed in 1905.

Anon, Welcome to the Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene, Sheet, in the Diocese of Portsmouth - A Brief Guide.

The Church of St Mary Magdalene, Farnham Road, Sheet, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: a good example of the Gothic Revival style to a simple plan, with a bold spire and masonry.
* Architect: one of a number of churches designed by the renowned architect Sir Arthur Blomfield.
* Survival: the original fabric and fittings survive intact.
* Historic Significance: its relevance to the community is evident in the memorials to fallen soldiers and local individuals.

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.