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Church of the Holy Trinity, Winchester

Description: Church of the Holy Trinity

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 14 January 1974
English Heritage Building ID: 144721

OS Grid Reference: SU4835729722
OS Grid Coordinates: 448357, 129722
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0648, -1.3113

Location: Middle Brook Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8DA

Locality: Winchester
Local Authority: Winchester City Council
County: Hampshire
Country: England
Postcode: SO23 8DA

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Listing Text

869/3/464 NORTH WALLS

1853-5 by Henry Woodyer.

MATERIALS: Flint with freestone dressings and slate roofs. The flintwork incorporates what seems to be C12 arch-moulding, and various moulded fragments of C13 and C14 date, but documentary evidence suggests that they may have been supplied by a manufactory. Timber roofs covered externally with slates.

PLAN: Continuous seven-bay clerestoried nave, with N and S lean-to aisles, and chancel. SE vestry and W porch, both added 1894. No tower.

EXTERIOR: a town church in the Decorated style set in a walled churchyard with a lime avenue leading to the W porch. N side with buttressed aisle extending the full length of nave and chancel with two-light Decorated style windows and a clerestory of three-light windows with more elaborate tracery to the two chancel bays. Priest's door (blocked) in easternmost bay, doorway in penultimate westernmost bay. The S side is similar but with a larger moulded doorway with shafts with bell capitals and, the easternmost bay is occupied by a long two-phase vestry block at right angles. This has an axial stack, cusped lancets under decorative stone arches in the walls and a five-light plate-traceried S window. The E wall of the chancel has gabled buttresses and a large five-light E window with geometric Decorated tracery, framed by a steep ashlar gable with blind tracery. The W end of the nave has a four-light geometric Decorated window above a deep, two-bay 1890s porch with a covered W gable and square-headed windows with reticulated tracery, the western pair blind. There is a timber-framed fleche at the junction between the nave and the chancel with a copper-covered spire with lunettes.

INTERIOR: The open roof is richly painted throughout and has elaborate two-tier roof trusses with arch-braced tie beams supporting a moulded braced post with a plainer braced post above the collar. The roof has two tiers of purlins and windbraces. The chancel roof is boarded with moulded ribs and painted panels. An E end truss against the chancel wall has a slightly different design and frames E wall paintings with a central figure forming a series of transverse arches down each aisle. The roof-cladding of the two chapels is decorated in bordered oblongs containing various motifs and devices, including the sacred monogram IHS (Iesus Hominem Salvator).

In addition to the ceiling, some of the pillars and most of the walls were formerly decorated. In particular, the walls of the aisles were adorned with Joseph A Pippet's late C19 stations of the cross, noted by Pevsner. However, they were painted on dry plaster in the 1880's and deteriorated fairly rapidly over the succeeding years until, in the early 1970s, they were over-painted along with most of the wall paintings. Pippert's work has been replaced by a modern set of framed stations. The painting of Christ in Majesty, far above the high alter, escaped over-painting, though further down the east wall the paintings of Moses and Elias were obliterated. However, both are gradually re-appearing through the paint.

The arcades have octagonal piers with moulded capitals and arches with unusual detail above the capitals. During the 1880s the open timber chancel screen (surmounted by a cross only, the figures were added later), the octagonal timber pulpit with open traceried sides on a wineglass base on timber shafts and the choir screens were erected. The aisle screen at the entrance to the chapels are more recent, the ornamentations being larger than those on the choir screens and less deeply carved. The chancel is paved in black and white whereas the nave has a woodblock floor. The sanctuary has a timber dado across the E wall with a memorial date of 1933. The choir stalls are low, with chamfered corners and a frieze of blind quatrefoils across the backs; the frontals are also decorated with a heavy frieze of blind tracery. The octagonal stone font, with its boldly-carved sides with interlace and flamboyant motifs also dates from the 1880s. It stands on an octagonal step, the sides carved with quatrefoils. There are two different types of nave benches, the earlier with deep concave profiles and chamfered tops.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The stained glass is by Clayton and Bell, and was installed in the late 1860s. It comprises a series of Old Testament themes on the north side (beginning with the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, at the west end) and a series of New Testament themes on the south side (including the Parable of the Good Samaritan, in the Sacred heart Chapel, and the Parable of the Publican and Sinner, at the west end of the south wall). The glass contains much delicate detail; and the colouring is of outstanding quality.

The Lady Chapel was re-ordered by Ninian Comper in the late 1940s, using red hangings and frontal. The reredos is a Nativity with the Agnus Dei and the pelican, both emblems of sacrifice, in the medallions on either side. The candlesticks and candelabra are also by Comper. In the alcove, formerly a doorway, rests the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham and on the pillar opposite hangs an oil of the Madonna and child. The east window depicts, beneath the crucifix, the risen Christ making himself known to his fellow-travellers at supper, following the walk to Emmaus.

Within the church, there are many interesting memorial tables, pictures and statues, not least among these, an unpainted stone statue of Our Lady and Child, at the entrance to the Lady Chapel, and inside the west door, a water colour by A Ernest Monk (after Prosser) of Holy Trinity in 1860. The hanging copper light fittings are also of interest.

HISTORY: By the mid C19, the population of Winchester was growing rapidly, and Holy Trinity Church, built in 1853-4 by Henry Woodyer, was the second church to be built in the city within ten years (the Grade II listed St Thomas's in Southgate Street, by EW Elmslie, dates from 1845-6). The then new church was built on a plot named Whitebread Mead and was overlooked to the west by the building and grounds of the County Hospital in Parchment Street. Very soon, a row of terrace houses and the parish school would be erected and named after the church. Work on the site started in February 1852 and the church was consecrated in July 1854. The cost of the site was £900 and of the building £4500, raised by subscription. The church seated 900, 600 of which were free. The endowment of £333 6s 8d was paid by the first incumbent, the Rev GA Seymour. The living was a perpetual curacy in the gift of the Bishop of Winchester of the value of £100 per annum.

Henry Woodyer (1815-96), the architect, having considerable private means, was a 'gentleman-architect' who based himself at Grafham, Surrey. He was pupil of the great church architect William Butterfield and established a strong reputation himself for his church work. The greatest concentration of his work is in Surrey and the adjacent counties. His masterpiece is often considered to be Dorking parish church.

Bullen, M et al., Hampshire : Winchester and the North (2010), 629 and 632
Chilcott-Monk JP., Holy Trinity Church - A short guide (1989).
Victoria County History, A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5 (1912), 69-76.

The Church of the Holy Trinity, North Walls in Winchester, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural Interest: a good example of a large early Victoria town church, with a bold exterior, showing the influence of Gothic Revival.
* Architect: designed by Henry Woodyer, an important Victorian architect, with later C19 phases of note aswell.
* Survival: generally survival is good throughout the church. The wall-paintings were partly over-painted in the 1970s but all the roofs retain their C19 painted decoration as does the upper part of the E wall of the chancel. Were the rest of the paintings to be made visble again, the interior would be of even greater note.
* Fittings: the church retains good stained glass and screens.

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.