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Description: Former Church of Transfiguration
Date Listed: 30 August 1954
English Heritage Building ID: 203220
OS Grid Reference: TQ3771975874
OS Grid Coordinates: 537719, 175874
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4651, -0.0188
779/13/L9 ALGERNON ROAD
30-AUG-54 (West side)
FORMER CHURCH OF TRANSFIGURATION
(Formerly listed as:
ALGERNON ROAD SE13
CHURCH OF TRANSFIGURATION (NOW ALTERED
AND USED AS DAY CENTRE FOR THE DEAF))
DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT: 1881 by James Brooks.
MATERIALS: Red brick with limestone dressings. Welsh slate roof. Lead and slate covered flèche.
PLAN: Nave, chancel, N and S aisles, outer N passage aisle, N and S porches, SE chapel, NE vestries.
EXTERIOR: The exterior is a dramatic, tall composition in Brooks¿s elemental reinterpretation of C13 Gothic. The nave and chancel have a continuous roofline punctuated at the junction between the two by a tall fleche. This has a lead and slate-covered gable straddling the roof ridge in a N-S direction. From this rises an open, octagonal stage which is topped by a spirelet. The E end fronts directly on to the road. The chancel is in three tiers, the lowest with an arcade of five blind arches, the middle one with three equal-height lancets, and the top with a pair of lancets and a cusped oculus in the gable. The chancel is flanked by a chapel (S) and vestries (N). The side elevations are dominated by very tall, gaunt clerestory fenestration which differs between chancel and nave. The chancel has three large lancets on either side, the nave four two-light windows each with a huge uncusped circle in the head. At the W end there is blind arcade and above an immense wheel window containing two concentric rings and numerous spokes.
INTERIOR: The interior has now been subdivided into a series of worship, community and office spaces on two levels. No sense of the original interior can be gauged now except that parts of the massive arcade piers and brick arches can be seen, while in the former SE chapel there is an impressive roof structure with a short hammerbeam and prominent arch braces creating a trefoil profile. Also the outer N passage aisle is visible with slender columns on a stone, moulded arches and capitals.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: Some Victorian stained glass survives in the E parts of the S side.
HISTORY: Built in 1881, this is one of a number of churches in London by James Brooks (1825-1901), one of the most respected Victorian church architects. Born at Wantage in Oxfordshire he was articled to the London architect Lewis Stride from 1847. He commenced practice in 1851 and his fame developed as he built a series of inner London brick churches from the early 1860s. These addressed the acutely-felt problem of providing dignified, capacious church accommodation on a modest budget in rapidly expanding, poor areas. He became architect to the diocese of Canterbury from 1888 and was joined by his son, James Martin Brooks, as a partner to form James Brooks & Son. The church was altered internally probably in the 1950s.
Brodie, A et al., Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, vol 1 (2001), 266-7.
Cherry, B and Pevsner., The Buildings of England: London 2: South (1983), 413.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
The former Church of the Transfiguration, Algernon Road, Lewisham, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Externally it is a good example of an impressively composed and powerfully detailed Victorian town church.
* It is typical of the work of one of the leading Victorian church architects but has undergone internal alteration.
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.