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Former Church of Transfiguration

A Grade II Listed Building in Lewisham, London

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Latitude: 51.4651 / 51°27'54"N

Longitude: -0.0188 / 0°1'7"W

OS Eastings: 537719

OS Northings: 175874

OS Grid: TQ377758

Mapcode National: GBR K7.KXQ

Mapcode Global: VHGR7.MFFQ

Entry Name: Former Church of Transfiguration

Listing Date: 30 August 1954

Last Amended: 28 September 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1080024

English Heritage Legacy ID: 203220

Location: Lewisham, London, SE13

County: London

District: Lewisham

Electoral Ward/Division: Ladywell

Built-Up Area: Lewisham

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Lewisham St Stephen with St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

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Listing Text

30-AUG-54 (West side)

(Formerly listed as:


MATERIALS: Red brick with limestone dressings. Welsh slate roof. Lead and slate covered flèche.

PLAN: Nave, chancel, N and S aisles, outer N passage aisle, N and S porches, SE chapel, NE vestries.

EXTERIOR: The exterior is a dramatic, tall composition in Brooks¿s elemental reinterpretation of C13 Gothic. The nave and chancel have a continuous roofline punctuated at the junction between the two by a tall fleche. This has a lead and slate-covered gable straddling the roof ridge in a N-S direction. From this rises an open, octagonal stage which is topped by a spirelet. The E end fronts directly on to the road. The chancel is in three tiers, the lowest with an arcade of five blind arches, the middle one with three equal-height lancets, and the top with a pair of lancets and a cusped oculus in the gable. The chancel is flanked by a chapel (S) and vestries (N). The side elevations are dominated by very tall, gaunt clerestory fenestration which differs between chancel and nave. The chancel has three large lancets on either side, the nave four two-light windows each with a huge uncusped circle in the head. At the W end there is blind arcade and above an immense wheel window containing two concentric rings and numerous spokes.

INTERIOR: The interior has now been subdivided into a series of worship, community and office spaces on two levels. No sense of the original interior can be gauged now except that parts of the massive arcade piers and brick arches can be seen, while in the former SE chapel there is an impressive roof structure with a short hammerbeam and prominent arch braces creating a trefoil profile. Also the outer N passage aisle is visible with slender columns on a stone, moulded arches and capitals.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: Some Victorian stained glass survives in the E parts of the S side.

HISTORY: Built in 1881, this is one of a number of churches in London by James Brooks (1825-1901), one of the most respected Victorian church architects. Born at Wantage in Oxfordshire he was articled to the London architect Lewis Stride from 1847. He commenced practice in 1851 and his fame developed as he built a series of inner London brick churches from the early 1860s. These addressed the acutely-felt problem of providing dignified, capacious church accommodation on a modest budget in rapidly expanding, poor areas. He became architect to the diocese of Canterbury from 1888 and was joined by his son, James Martin Brooks, as a partner to form James Brooks & Son. The church was altered internally probably in the 1950s.

Brodie, A et al., Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, vol 1 (2001), 266-7.
Cherry, B and Pevsner., The Buildings of England: London 2: South (1983), 413.

The former Church of the Transfiguration, Algernon Road, Lewisham, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Externally it is a good example of an impressively composed and powerfully detailed Victorian town church.
* It is typical of the work of one of the leading Victorian church architects but has undergone internal alteration.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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