Description: Church of St George
Date Listed: 1 December 2008
English Heritage Building ID: 504752
OS Grid Reference: TQ2867216411
OS Grid Coordinates: 528672, 116411
Latitude/Longitude: 50.9328, -0.1703
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1144/0/10077 ST GEORGE'S LANE
01-DEC-08 ST GEORGE'S CHURCH
Private chapel, 1852 for Charles Smith Hannington; subsequently used by the Church of England.
MATERIALS. Flint, stone and rendered dressings, plain and fishscale tile roofs.
PLAN. The church lies east-west but is laid out with the chancel at the west. Unlike normal Anglican practice, Non-Conformist churches were not constrained by east-west orientation. It comprises a four-bay aisleless, buttressed nave entered through a small east porch, a shallow chancel under a wide chancel arch, and a large vestry to the north.
EXTERIOR. The nave is in four bays with broad two-light windows with simple cusped tracery, in near-flush quoined surrounds and under plain chamfered arches with moulded hoods with crocketted ball finials, and sitting on a continuous cill band. There is a blocked entrance at the eastern end of the southern elevation. The east, entrance end has a small gabled porch with a pair of vertically boarded doors with ornate strap hinges, within a pointed chamfered arch with a simple hoodmould with similar crocketted ball finials. The porch gable has a stone parapet but has lost its cross. Above is a large round octafoil window with cusped tracery in a plain moulded surround. Below, to either side, are a pair of tall two-light windows. The east end gable carries a slender cross. At the west end the single bay chancel is lower, under a separate roof, and has a pair of two-light windows under a small circular light. A doorway on the south at the western end is similar to the window openings, and has a boarded door similar to those at the main entrance. Above the west gable is the base of a large octagonal stack or cross. The vestry is attached to the north of the chancel under a separate pitched roof. It is treated more simply than the nave with no cill band, but with angle buttresses. The external vestry entrance (on the north side facing east) has a plain, probably rendered, surround and no hoodmould, and a pair of boarded doors with plain hinges. Above is an oculus, again in a plain rendered surround. The west gable of the vestry has a pair of windows under an oculus, similarly to the main western chancel elevation alongside, and carries a stone chimney stack.
INTERIOR. The interior is furnished with intact pine fittings installed circa 1900. The nave and chancel have king-post roofs with side purlins, with slender braces from the collar to the purlins and from the principal rafters to simple painted moulded brackets. Interior rear arches of doors and windows are unchamfered. Inner porch doors with chamfered frames and muntins are under a pointed panelled doorhead. A pair of late C19 or early C20 part glazed doors lead under the gallery. This gallery at the eastern end, which may have been added after 1892, is of timber supported on slender cast iron columns, and is reached from the lobby. The balustrade has blind cusped panels. It contains some bench seating and the organ. The font, below the gallery, is a stone octagonal bowl on a round stem in C13 manner; the cover dates from 1952. Nave benches have plain chamfered ends and those on the southern side have additional flaps to provide extra seating. At the western end the sanctuary is lined in cusped panelling; the chancel has a lower panelled dado. The chancel is flanked with pine stalls with crocketted finials and desks with pierced quatrefoil ornament. The sanctuary is slightly raised, with an altar table with blind cusped panels, behind an altar rail in wrought iron with an oak rail. The lectern carries a carved eagle. Nave windows have coloured glass in various repeat floral and foliate designs. The chancel windows are of plain glass with inset symbols of the Four Evangelists and a pelican in the roundel (these less good, and probably later). Memorials in the church are predominately to the Hannington family, notably James Hannington, the first Bishop of East Equatorial Africa who was killed in Uganda in 1885.
The vestry is reached by a pair of boarded doors with ornate strap hinges. It has a grey marble chimneypiece, with a blocked fireplace, and pine cupboards and fittings.
At the entrance to the churchyard is a pair of plain stone gatepiers with later gates with twisted dogbars and an M monogram in the shaped head. To the east of the church is a small burial ground.
HISTORY: The Church of St George was built in 1852 by Colonel Charles Smith Hannington as a private chapel, following a disagreement with the parish Rector, Carey Hampton Borrer. While Borrer was inspired by the Oxford Movement, Hannington's background was Low Church. Hannington built the chapel in the grounds of his home, St George's House which faces the High Street, where it was known as 'Little Park Chapel'. Between 1852 and 1867 several notable Baptist pastors were invited to preach there. After 1867 the rift was healed to some extent, and the chapel became licensed for public worship by the Church of England. In 1892 it was made over to the Diocese of Chichester and became known as St George's Church. James Hannington, first Bishop of East Equatorial Africa (died 1885), was the most well known exponent of the evangelical tradition which the family espoused.
During the C20 an earlier C19 decorative scheme was whitewashed over, and a stone bellcote which rose from the north western corner of the nave was demolished, and the bell sold.
The nearby parish church, the Holy Trinity on the High Street (Grade II*) was built in 1843-45 by Charles Barry, replacing an earlier church on the same site, and incorporates some of the fittings and memorials from the previous building.
Joseph Elders (Archaeology Officer, Council for the Care of Churches): Pastoral Measure Report: Hurstpierpoint, St George, dated 15 March 2007.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The Church of St George is designated Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is an unusual example of a near-intact Anglican church which was built as a Non -Conformist private chapel
* Its simplicity in comparison with more elaborately detailed, usually Anglican or Roman Catholic, C19 private chapels.
* The history of the chapel which was built as a result of a split from the parish church gives it special historic interest
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.