Description: Christ Church
Date Listed: 21 May 1973
English Heritage Building ID: 202480
OS Grid Reference: TQ2054678448
OS Grid Coordinates: 520546, 178448
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4921, -0.2650
787/10/243 CHISWICK HIGH ROAD W4
21-MAY-73 TURNHAM GREEN
DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAMES OF ARCHITECTS: The church was built in 1841-3 and is one of the early works by (later Sir) George Gilbert Scott (1811-78) and his then partner William Bonython Moffatt (1812-87). In 1887 their short, five-sided, apsidal chancel was rebuilt under James Brooks (1825-1901) to a greater length and with a square east end. South-east vestries added in 1895.
MATERIALS: Knapped flint facing with strongly contrasted limestone ashlar quoins and other dressings to the body of the church. Red and black brick spire, again with ashlar dressings. Grey, Welsh slate roofs.
PLAN: Nave, chancel and north chapel, south-east vestries, north and south aisles under separate gables, shallow north and south transepts, west tower with broach spire, north porch.
EXTERIOR: Early English lancet style. Four-stage west tower with angle buttresses; west doorway with two lancets above and two-light plate tracery in the belfry windows. Spire with shallow broaches and two tiers of lucarnes. Lancet windows elsewhere, mostly shafted and in pairs; triple, graduated lancets in the transept north and south walls; three lancets of equal height to the chancel east end.
INTERIOR: All surfaces painted, mostly off-white. The five-bay, unclerestoried nave has octagonal piers and double-chamfered arches. The high-pitched nave roof has single hammerbeam trusses alternating with arch-braced ones. In 2000 the two west bays were converted by architect Ian Goldsmith into two-storey community rooms; on the ground floors there are sliding glass screens bearing texts and which separate the community area from the worship space; the first floor has a three-sided glazed projection.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: All of Scott's original work has gone, apart from the plain font. Reredos 1894 by E.W. Alleyn with paintings on copper in two tiers representing Types and Antitypes with the appropriate texts cited. The woodwork (stalls, screen, panelling in the chancel and pulpit is of 1906 by a group of local ladies trained by Arthur T. Heady at the local polytechnic. The `Flowers, foliage, musical instruments, etc., are carved with meticulous realism' (Cherry and Pevsner).
HISTORY: Christ Church was built for the new, early Victorian suburb of Turnham Green at a cost of £6,900 of which the Church Building Commissioners provided £500. It is a good and representative early work by Scott who would become the most successful and prolific church architect of Victorian England. Eight of his churches were reviewed in the first volume of the highly influential and hard-to-please journal, The Ecclesiologist, and Christ Church met with much praise, especially for its tower and spire which were considered `peculiarly excellent, and worthy of any ancient architect.' The building is contemporary with Scott's famous church of St Giles, Camberwell, London, and shares with it the architect's growing interest in and use of architecture that is faithful to the spirit of medieval work. The Camberwell church is held to be an important building in the development of C19 church architecture but at Turnham Green similar principles are at work, although on a smaller compass.
SOURCES: The Ecclesiologist, 1, 1842, pp. 56-9.
B Cherry and N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 3: North West, London, 1991, pp. 392.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of Christ Church, Turnham Green, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Set back on the south of Chiswick High Road, the church is sited in a large green area, and the building and its setting create an important focal point in this part of Chiswick.
* It is a typical building from the early career of one of England's leading Gothic revivalists. Later external alterations have been in keeping with the character of the original.
* Interesting late Victorian fittings, some executed by Polytechnic-trained craftswomen.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.