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Church of All Souls, Folkestone

Description: Church of All Souls

Grade: II
Date Listed: 11 March 1975
English Heritage Building ID: 175335

OS Grid Reference: TR2042236721
OS Grid Coordinates: 620422, 136721
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0874, 1.1461

Location: Quested Road, Folkestone, Kent CT20 3JS

Locality: Folkestone
Local Authority: Shepway District Council
County: Kent
Country: England
Postcode: CT20 3JS

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Explore more of the area around Folkestone, Kent at Explore Britain.

Listing Text

737/10/123 HIGH STREET

1894 by Ewan Christian.

MATERIALS: Ragstone with limestone dressings. Red clay tile roofs.

PLAN: Nave, chancel, S porch, N and S transepts, N organ chamber/vestry.

EXTERIOR: The church is built in the Early English style, the main feature of which is the abundant use of uncusped lancet windows throughout. The nave and chancel, which are of equal width and have a continuous roof ridge. Over the W gable is a two-light bellcote (but only one bell). The W wall is buttressed by a pair of buttresses either side of a two-light plate tracery window. The N and S elevations are punctuated by the transepts which have pairs of lancet windows and above them, in the gable, a plain small circular light. The E end of the church terminates in a semi-circular apse. The hopper heads are dated 1894 (Christian usually had the date cast in them).

INTERIOR: The interior is broad and low, with the chancel and nave being continuous and of the same width. The main body of the church has exposed red brick to the walls. There are two-bay broad arcades to the transepts with roll-mouldings on the steps of the arches, circular limestone piers and octagonal moulded capitals. The detailing of the E end is very strange. At the entrance to the sanctuary are classical, fluted pilasters with a raised entablature over. Around the apse and surrounding the arches of the windows are curious fluted demi-shafts applied to the wall with classical-style capitals and pointed arches which do not quite match the curvature of the window arches. It is hard to believe that Ewan Christian, a committed Gothic Revival architect, would sanction such details. Yet the intrados mouldings of the window arches have similar features including classical-style details in the capitals. The walls of the chancel are plastered and whitened, unlike the rest of the church, and perhaps this eccentric ornamentation is related to this. The nave roof is seven-sided and has scissor-braced trusses. The roof over the chancel is of interest in having rectangular panels decorated with representations of the Apostles. The W wall of the S transept has decoration (Chi-Ro etc) painted directly on to the brickwork.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The reredos is of wood and is tripartite: the central panel has a painting of Christ in Majesty, the two side ones adoring angels. The font is plain and has an octagonal bowl and circular base. The pulpit is low and has open sides with curious fretwork decoration. In the N transept is a majolica tympanum which encloses the figure of an angel. In the N transept is a stained glass window by M. Gabriel Loire, a master glazier from Chartres. Other windows have stained glass of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

HISTORY: The need for a church on the E part of Folkestone in the late 19th century was occasioned by the rise in the population there. This had come about by the establishment of many laundries to serve Folkestone and the military camp at Shorncliffe. Many other people were employed in the tile and brick works at Broadmead. Services were held in a mission hall until 1887 when they transferred to Cheriton Street School. Five years later a new parish of All Souls, Cheriton, was established. The foundation stone of the present church was laid on 26 June 1894 by Earl Stanhope and the church was consecrated on 31 January 1895 by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The contractors were Messrs Paramor of Margate

The architect, Ewan Christian (1814-95), was a prolific practitioner whose speciality was church work. He was schooled at Christ's Hospital until 1829 when he was articled to Matthew Habershon. He broadened his education with travel on the continent in 1834 and the following year assisted one of the entrants in the New Palace of Westminster competition with the drawings. He worked in the offices of William Railton in London and then John Brown in Norwich. He commenced practice in 1842 and was appointed architect to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1851, a post which brought many commissions, especially in the chancels for which the Commissioners were responsible. He gained a reputation for efficiency and bringing jobs in on time and on budget. His work, however, does not generally enjoy a high reputation and much of it is quite routine although his best churches, notably St Mark, Leicester, and Holy Trinity, Folkestone, can stand comparison with the better churches of the C19. All Souls is one of his last churches.

Inscription on foundation stone at E end; dated hopper heads.
Sue Collard et al., All Souls Church Cheriton Folkestone, 1995 (guide).
John Newman, The Buildings of England: Kent, North East and East , 1983, p 271.

The church of All Souls, Cheriton, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is of special interest as a late Victorian Gothic Revival church in the Early English style, designed by Ewan Christian, a well-known and prolific church architect in the second half of the 19th century.
* It has interesting painted decoration on the roof of the chancel and in the S transept.

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.