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Description: St Marks Garrison Church
Date Listed: 1 December 1999
English Heritage Building ID: 479261
OS Grid Reference: TR1965035782
OS Grid Coordinates: 619650, 135782
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0793, 1.1345
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TR 13 NE FOLKESTONE NORTH ROAD
737/13/10008 St Mark's Garrison Church
Garrison church. 1939-41. By John Markham of the Ministry of Works and Buildings. Built of brick with limestone dressings and horizontal coursing, the latter also given bands of red tile; plain tile roof. Long 7 -bay nave, with W porch; N tower and 5 organ loft (both with ground-floor porches} balance either side of the transept, with 3-bay choir and single-bay sanctuary. Eclectic and characteristically inter-war style, basically earl)'. Gothic with Tudor Gothic and Art Deco features. Blank east wall with foundation stone and late Gothic niche set in raised central panel. Tall lancets light sanctuary, and the roof projects forward over the E and W bays of the choir, lit at top by S-light chamfered and stone-mullioned windows, which flank cross-gabled and projecting central bays: the 5 bay of these has a vestry set below an open pointed arch which frames a recessed bay with a similar lancet. Similar mullioned windows to $, E and W sides of projecting two-storey hip-roofed organ loft/porch with chamfered late Gothic doorway. Two-stage N tower, triple lancets to recessed upper stage, with stone chamfered coursing both above and to the impost level of the centre lancets; porch is accessed from N, the door architrave being typical abstracted late Gothic style. Each side of the nave has 3 tall lancets set in projecting cross gables, each flanked by flat-roofed blocks which project forwards and have single-light windows with chamfered stone surrounds lighting the interior passage aisles. Wend has simple bellcote set above triple lancets and porch, with parapet stepped over similar late Gothic doorway. INTERIOR: open timber roof. The nave is dominated by broad pointed transverse arches, springing from the floor and which within their width have recessed soffit panels and openings to passage aisles; these arches are linked by short pointed-arched bays, whose walls terminate just above impost level of the transverse arches, thus providing open views into the roofs of the passage aisles. Similar arches springing from ground level articulate the transept and choir, the chancel arch being narrower and more conventional in its form. HISTORY: this church ranks with the garrison churches at Bulford Camp and larkill (1920 and 1937, both in Wiltshire) as the finest examples of inter-war garrison architecture in England. It is remarkably well-detailed and boldly-handled, with clear precedents in terms of Markham's solid geometry and internal design with the Edwardian churches of Prior and Stokes, the closest inter-war comparisons being Temple Moore and Goodhart-Rendel. Its construction, between 1939 and 1941, also acquired symbolic importance in view of its position in one of the garrisons closest to occupied France and the threats made to its completion in the face of repeated Nazi propaganda broadcasts.
Fighter cover was provided during its dedication in July 1941. No other military building combining such architectural quality and symbolic importance was completed during the war, and although it closed for services after the destruction of a Folkestone church by bombing in May 1942, it continued to be used by servicemen bound for overseas service as a place of prayer and contemplation for the remainder of the conflict.
Listing NGR: TR1965035782
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.