Christ Church, Malvern
Description: Christ Church
Date Listed: 3 August 2005
English Heritage Building ID: 493509
OS Grid Reference: SO7846645776
OS Grid Coordinates: 378466, 245776
Latitude/Longitude: 52.1099, -2.3158
Location: 17 Avenue Road, Great Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3BA
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943/0/10053 AVENUE ROAD
03-AUG-05 Barnard's Green
Church. 1875. T. D. Barry and Sons Ltd, Liverpool. Rockfaced yellow sandstone with ashlar dressings. Plain tile roof with decorative ridge.
PLAN: Three cell church with west tower, nave with two south porches, north and south aisles, chancel with Sacristy to the north and Lady Chapel to the south.
FAÇADE: The west tower has stepped angle buttresses and plinth and four stages rising to a corbelled table with gargoyles at the angles and in the centre of each face supports the broach spire with lucarnes on two levels set at opposite diagonal stages divided by offsets carried across from angled buttresses. On the top stage of the tower, on the north, east, south and west elevations, are pairs of pointed arch openings with simple reticulated tracery and timber boards with quatrefoil cut outs. On the first stage the west front has an entrance door with double timber doors, a deeply moulded pointed arch with hood mould terminating in decorative crocket finial and foliate ball stops. The west elevation is pierced by three quatrefoils and the north elevation is plain rock faced. On the second stage the south elevation carries the dedication stone set in a pointed arch with geometric tracery with quatrefoils and trefoils, and on the third stage is a pair of single long narrow windows with ogee heads. A feature of the façade on all four elevations is the very fine window tracery set largely in pointed headed arches with moulded drip stones rising from foliate ball stops, in geometric patterns with a variety of motifs including quatrefoils, trefoils, cinquefoils and mouchettes. Windows of two lights occupy the first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth bay of the south aisle elevation, bays one and two of the Lady Chapel south elevation and second bay of the Sacristy, and bays two, three and four and five of the north aisle. Similar but grander windows occur on the east elevation in the gables of the Lady Chapel, Chancel and Sacristy, being of three, five and two lights respectively. Beneath the Sacristy is a simple shouldered flat headed entrance to the boiler room below with a chimney on the north side of the gable. Windows to the clerestory form pairs of pointed arch headed windows with simple reticulated tracery and moulded drip stones rising from foliate ball stops. There are four pairs above the south aisle and six pairs above the north aisle. The south porch occupies the second bay; it has angled buttresses, a pointed arch doorway with moulded drip stone terminating in foliate ball stops and a cruciform finial on top of a steeply pitched plain tile roof. To the east and west elevation are pairs of ogee headed windows. The porch steps up to a second transept with a single arched window with geometric tracery. At the end of the south aisle is a priest's porch with an octagonal Sanctus bellcote topped by a spirette. The porch is square in plan with set back stepped buttresses, a narrow deeply set timber door with a shouldered triangular head set in a crocheted mock gable. Gargoyles project from the angles at the string course. The bell cote has pierced lancet headed openings with simple reticulated tracery. The octagonal spirette has trefoil piercing and lucarnes at the cardinal points. The north façade has a north entrance to the Sacristy up external stone stairs with simple iron handrails on top of a solid stone balustrade. The door has a pointed arch with moulded drip stones rising from foliate ball stops. A second north door occupies the eastern most bay of the north transept also with a pointed arch with mould dripstone and foliate ball stops.
INTERIOR: The interior is simple with a plain nave roof in a pointed tunnel vault. There is a simple wagon roof in the chancel and timber pent roof in the aisles. The nave has an arcade of alternate drum columns and octagonal piers with rather stiff foliate capitals. The aisles are wainscoted in tongue and groove timber panelling. The majority of the pews survive in situ, except at the rear where they have been removed to form a modern meeting space. The nave and aisles are paved in red and black quarry tiles set on the diagonal. The sanctuary beyond the alter rails has a fine polychrome encaustic pavement. The original pitch pine and wrought iron choir stalls, alter rails, pulpit and altar survive in situ. The east window was designed by Charles Eomer Kemp in 1895. The font is carved octagonal pale stone with niches alternating saints and scripts with black marble shafts between. The organ which occupies the end of the north transept is by Nicholsons of Malvern Link in 1884 and has 1486 painted pipes. The Lady Chapel is at the end of the south transept and has a window by Clayton and Bell in 1886. The 1914-18 war memorial in white marble with an alabaster surround is by the Bromsgrove Guild in 1921. The interior presents a simple but competent scheme with the effect of the excellent window tracery enhancing the overall character of the church.
HISTORY: Built in 1875 in the expanding suburb around the recently opened station, Christ Church, Malvern was founded by the Lady Emily Foley, the Lady of the Manor at a cost of £8,000-£9,000. The architect was a known church architect and established practitioner of the Gothic Style, T. D. Barry and Sons Ltd of Liverpool.
Hersey. G. L. (1972) High Victorian Gothic. (London)
Pevsner, N. (1992) Worcestershire. The Buildings of England. (London)
List Descriptions for St Michael, Garston; St Peters, Bengeworth; Holy Trinity, Tulse Hill; St Paul's, Addlington.
Church Guide for Christ Church, Malvern
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.