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Church of St Paul Without the Walls, Canterbury

Description: Church of St Paul Without the Walls

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 3 December 1949
English Heritage Building ID: 170579

OS Grid Reference: TR1529357715
OS Grid Coordinates: 615293, 157715
Latitude/Longitude: 51.2779, 1.0855

Location: Church Street, Canterbury, Kent CT2 8AS

Locality: Canterbury
Local Authority: Canterbury City Council
County: Kent
Country: England
Postcode: CT2 8AS

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Listing Text

856/5/155 CHURCH STREET
03-DEC-49 ST PAUL'S
(South side)
CHURCH OF ST PAUL WITHOUT THE WALLS

II*
The medieval church had a W tower, nave and chancel together with a S aisle and chapel: C13 work is clearly evident in what is now the arcade between the N aisle and nave. In 1856 Sir George Gilbert Scott added a three-bay S aisle and S vestry, turning the former S aisle and chapel into the nave and chancel in a style matching that of the (now) N aisle. He also rebuilt the E end of what is now the N aisle, and refenestrated the church, refurnished it and rebuilt the top of the tower.

MATERIALS: Flint and stone rubble, the work by Scott having neat knapped flint; freestone dressings. Clay tiled roofs.

PLAN: NW tower, nave, chancel, NE organ chamber, N and S aisles, S vestry

EXTERIOR: All the traceried windows are in the Decorated style by Scott, except for some of the tower windows. The design of the Scott tracery in the N wall matches the C14 tracery of the windows shown in a drawing of 1847. The aisles and nave/chancel are under their own separate gables. The N elevation, butting on to the street, has five windows by Scott, the two E bays of the N wall being rebuilt by him but with old freestone quoins at the NE corner. At the NW corner is a short tower with a moulded N doorway which has a large, chequered stepped buttress alongside and a medieval quatrefoil window and plain slit window below a stringcourse. Above the stringcourse the structure is Scott's design with a two-light Perpendicular belfry windows apart from the E face which has, unusually, a pair of single-light square-headed windows, there being insufficient height to install a tall, central, two-light one. The tower is capped by a low, tiled pyramidal roof. The gables of the E ends of the organ chamber and chancel are flush and have three- and four-light windows. The two windows on the S wall of the chancel have a small, medieval priest's door between them. The chancel is also top-lit by a two-light dormer window with tile-hung sides, matching the C19 clerestory. There is a two-light window to the E gable of the S aisle. Scott's vestry has a stack and a shoulder-headed doorway.

INTERIOR: The medieval N arcade has three round piers with moulded capitals and plain, single-chamfered pointed arches. The tower has C13 chamfered arches to its E and S faces with cushion bar stops below the respond capitals. There is no chancel arch. The clerestory takes the form of dormers set in the roof. The nave roof is seven-sided, is plastered and panelled and has C19 tie-beams. The chancel roof is boarded and panelled and preserves attractive Victorian painted decoration over the sanctuary.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: Colourful mosaic and opus sectile panels of the Evangelists flank the E window and tiles and mosaic below extend round the walls of the sanctuary. A trefoil-headed piscina, probably C13, is housed in the N wall. The font is probably Scott's and has a square bowl decorated with carved roundels on a circular stem with dark marble corner shafts. The nave and aisle seating is a substantially complete C19 scheme with shaped, shouldered ends. There are late C19/early C20 choir stalls, moved to the N aisle. The windows contain several C19 and early C20 stained glass windows, one probably by Hardman in the chancel: one in the s aisle is signed by A L Moore. Monuments include a 1531/2 brass to George Wyndbourne and his wife. Over the NW doorway is a marble bust and escutcheons from the monument to Sir Edward Master (d 1648) set up in St Michael's Chapel in the cathedral. There are several other minor wall monuments.

HISTORY: The structural history of St Paul's is visible back to the C13. The building was enlarged and refitted under George Gilbert Scott. George Gilbert Scott (1811-78) began practice in the late 1830s and became the most successful church architect of his day. Often criticised for over-restoration, his work was in fact usually respectful of medieval buildings, while his new churches generally have a harmonious quality which derived its character from the architecture of the late C13 or early C14. He also designed a number of very important secular buildings, for example the Albert Memorial and the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras. He was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1859 and was knighted in 1872. He is buried in Westminster Abbey. At St Paul's he was careful to preserve medieval work where possible leaving the old arcade with its time-worn surfaces and following the existing medieval work in the design of the new. His furnishings and fittings are in line with the new ideas that the Victorians brought to churches in the 1840s

SOURCES:
Anon., St Paul's Church, Parish of St Martin and St Paul (n d).
Newman,J., The Buildings of England: North East and East Kent, 3rd ed. (1983), 243.
Historic photographs in the National Monuments Record, Swindon.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The church of St Paul without the Walls, Canterbury, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* It has medieval work dating back to the C13 in the tower and N aisle.
* It was enlarged by a leading C19 church architect in a manner respectful of the medieval fabric.
* It has a number of fixtures of interest.

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.