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Christ Church, Eastbourne

Description: Christ Church

Grade: II
Date Listed: 17 May 1971
English Heritage Building ID: 293599

OS Grid Reference: TV6204899702
OS Grid Coordinates: 562048, 99702
Latitude/Longitude: 50.7743, 0.2969

Location: Seaside, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN22 7NN

Locality: Eastbourne
Local Authority: Eastbourne Borough Council
County: East Sussex
Country: England
Postcode: BN22 7NN

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Listing Text

623/1/52 SEASIDE

Town church on a corner site, in a setting of early C19 terraces (to E) and late C19 houses and shops. An evolved C19 and early C20 building. Of the 1858-59 church to the designs of Benjamin Ferrey, it appears that only the W wall of the nave survives. S aisle and tower added in 1870, tower not completed until 1879. Chancel to the designs of E E Scott of Brighton begun in 1878 and existing nave roof built in the same year, builder Mr Peerless of Eastbourne. N aisle, W porch and chancel completed 1879. First World War Memorial Chapel of 1922 to the designs of G H Shackle of Marlborough, carvings by C Godfrey Garrard. Nave altar installed 1991. Flint rubble with ashlar stone bands, freestone dressings and tiled roofs. Plan of apsidal chancel; nave with W porch; 4-bay N arcade; 3-bay S arcade; SW tower; NE chapel and vestry; SE organ chamber, and S War Memorial Chapel with apsidal E end.

EXTERIOR: 1859 W end with a pair of large 2-light Decorated style traceried windows below a large rose window in the gable. 1879 porch with lean-to roof over good carved inner 1859 doorway. 4-stage SW tower with set-back buttresses and an octagonal SW stair turret with slit windows and a shoulder-headed doorway. The turret rises above the level of the tower roof with a stone spirelet. The tower has a moulded S doorway with shafts with waterleaf capitals. The tower has a low pyramidal roof and a parapet of pierced trefoils. The tower has an order of blind arcading and 2-light Decorated style traceried belfry windows with slate louvers. The N aisle is buttressed with set-offs and has 4 3-light Decorated traceried 3-light windows with alternating tracery designs and ballflower dripstones to the hoodmoulds. The NE vestry block has a gabled roof and E end stack with a tall octagonal shaft. 6-sided chancel with lancet windows. The War memorial chapel has a semi-circular apse, clasping buttresses. It has two 2-light Decorated style traceried S windows and lancets in the apse.

INTERIOR: Moulded chancel arch on shafts. The chancel is decorated with blind Early English style arcading divided into bays by shafts that extend to the stone vault as ribs. Low stone chancel screen with carved decoration and marble coping is integral with a polygonal stone pulpit . The N arcade has circular piers with waterleaf capitals; the S arcade has octagonal piers with waterleaf capitals. Canted and boarded tie beam and arched brace nave roof divided into panels by moulded ribs. The arched braces have an ogee profile and the roof has a brattished wallplate and painted decorated panels. The S aisle roof is more elaborate than the N aisle with a pierced sexafoil to each truss. Richly-carved and decorated 2-bay screen to the War Memorial Chapel. Statue of Christ carved by C Godfrey Garrard. Moulded stone arch to the rib-vaulted apse. Polygonal font with chamfered corners to the bowl on a cylindrical stem with marble shafts; 1966 font cover. Nave benches with square-headed ends with panels. N aisle benches with shouldered ends and a Y base with pierced trefoil-headed decoration. Geometrical patterned stained glass except for the E end and memorial chapel. Good quality apse windows, 1880-1884, by Clayton and Bell and 1920s windows in the War Memorial Chapel, the central window commemorates Princess Alice, the daughter of Queen Victoria, who worshipped here.

Group value with the infants' school which bounds one side of the area in front of the W end of the church.

Although this church was built in two phases; the original of 1858-1859, and a remodelling in 1870, it is a good example of Gothic Revival style. Its W end composition and War Memorial Chapel are particuarly good. The original building is the work of Benjamin Ferrey, with remodelling by E E Scott. The interior has interesting fittings such as the statue of Christ carved by C Godfrey Garrard and some good quality C19 windows by Clayton and Bell. In addition there is a royal association in the form of one of the stained glass windows which commemorates Princess Alice, the daughter of Queen Victoria, who worshipped here. The church also has group value with the infants' school, Brodie Hall, which bounds one side of the area in front of the W end of the church and is listed separately at grade II.

Chatfield, NP, Ford, SM and Leach, AC, Christ Church, Eastbourne, 2000
Pevsner, Sussex, 1965, 486.

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.