Description: Christ Church
Date Listed: 22 March 1974
English Heritage Building ID: 290642
OS Grid Reference: TQ1954660880
OS Grid Coordinates: 519546, 160880
Latitude/Longitude: 51.3345, -0.2853
861/29/185 CHRIST CHURCH ROAD
22-MAR-74 Epsom Common
Christ Church, 1876 by Sir Arthur Blomfield in Gothic Revival style (Early English and Decorated). A south aisle and tower were added in 1879 and 1887 respectively. Fine rood screen of 1909.
MATERIALS: Flint with stone dressings; tiled roofs.
PLAN: Nave with clerestory and lean-to aisles. Chancel with north and south transeptal chapels. South east vestry, south east and north porches, north west tower.
EXTERIOR: The principal façade is to the south dominated by the nave and aisle roofs and the gable end of the south transept chapel. The buttressed aisle has cusped lancet windows with pairs of cusped windows to the clerestory above. The south transept has two pairs of cusped lancets beneath two very tall and narrow lancets and a blind quatrefoil, all within a common hood-mould. An octagonal chimney stack rises on the west side of the transept. At the west end is a north tower of five stages with stepped, set-back buttresses and an embattled parapet. An embattled polygonal stair turret rises at its south west corner to above parapet level. The tower has a moulded doorway on its north side and small cusped windows, except for the belfry stage which has large Y-traceried windows. The east end has stepped buttresses flanking a large geometric five-light window in a Decorated style. The west end of the nave has a pair of tall two-light windows with tracery in a Decorated style.
INTERIOR: Plastered and painted white in contrast with fine architectural details, such as piers, arches and window surrounds, which are all picked out in stone. The chancel has a wide double chamfered arch with a wall painting above of Christ flanked by angels. The arcades also have double chamfered arches supported on quatrefoil piers with moulded capitals. The nave roof is timber in three tiers with arch-braced ties and collars to alternate trusses. The aisle roofs are also arch-braced. The chancel roof is a boarded wagon-roof, divided into panels by moulded ribs. The chancel is richly decorated and has a three-bay alabaster reredos of 1886 containing figurative scenes in mosaic. The east wall is entirely decorated with tile and mosaic panels depicting the evangelists and their symbols. The tiled dado continues on the north and south walls with a sedilia and piscina with moulded stone arches on marble shafts in the south wall. The elegant wrought iron and bronze rood screen of 1909 has wrought brass panels and integral angel finials. The screen rests on a low stone wall with marble inlaid panels. The polygonal stone pulpit of 1880, with decorative panels to its sides, was originally at St Andrew's Church in Surbiton. The octagonal stone font has curved lattice decoration on the sides of the bowl and a stem of clustered shafts with foliate capitals. The Victorian stained glass includes one south aisle window of 1883 by Holliday.
HISTORY: This was an area of expanding population and housing development in the Victorian period. The church was built on the edge of Epsom Common, as land to the south and east was being rapidly developed for housing. The church was built by Sir Arthur Blomfield in the 1870s and was consecrated in 1876. Blomfield was one of the last great Gothic Revivalists and was also a prolific architect whose primary activity was church building and restoration. His reputation was such that he was awarded the royal gold medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1891. The church was subject to early additions in the form of a south aisle of 1879 and a tower of 1887 and the need for an additional aisle so soon after completion is perhaps yet another reflection of a rapidly growing local population. The fine rood screen was added in 1909 but the church has remained largely unaltered since that time with the exception of 1990s minor reordering including the removal of the nave benches and their replacement with upholstered chairs.
N Pevsner (1971), The Buildings of England: Surrey, p215.
(unassigned, 2001) Christ Church Epsom Common: 125 years 1876-2001. pamphlet.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: Christ Church, built by Sir Arthur Blomfield in 1876, is designated at grade II* for the following principal reasons:
* Architecturally of good quality with impressive east end decoration of the 1880s and a very fine rood screen of 1909;
* Its importance as a complete and ambitious late Victorian church of distinction by an eminent architect.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.