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Church of St Augustin

A Grade II Listed Building in Central, Bournemouth

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Latitude: 50.7316 / 50°43'53"N

Longitude: -1.875 / 1°52'30"W

OS Eastings: 408915

OS Northings: 92450

OS Grid: SZ089924

Mapcode National: GBR X7N.3G

Mapcode Global: FRA 67Y4.RBX

Entry Name: Church of St Augustin

Listing Date: 27 February 1976

Last Amended: 24 September 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1108858

English Heritage Legacy ID: 101828

Location: Bournemouth, BH2

County: Bournemouth

Electoral Ward/Division: Central

Built-Up Area: Bournemouth

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Bournemouth Town Centre

Church of England Diocese: Winchester

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Listing Text

27-FEB-76 (South side)

(Formerly listed as:

1891-2, by William Butterfield.

MATERIALS: Rock faced Swanage stone, Bath stone dressings. Tiled roofs.

PLAN: Three and a half bay nave with lean-to aisles, chancel, porches north-west and south-west, north-east vestry, south-east vestry and organ chamber.

EXTERIOR: Tracery in the Dec style of c. 1300. On the west gable is an enclosed bell-turret; the short spire-like cap has bands of scalloped decoration. It is octagonal above the roofline, rising via little broaches from a remarkably big square buttress that broadens even more below and bisects the west wall of the nave like a little tower. The aisles are of the lean-to variety, with only the smallest sliver of wall separating aisle and nave roofs - no room for a clerestory. The long unbroken roofs of nave and aisles dominate. On the north side, facing the road, the aisle is sandwiched between a porch at the west, and a vestry at the east. The low south-east vestry was added in 1930, to the east of a transeptal organ chamber.

INTERIOR: The interior is painted white. The chancel arch springs from corbels and has a double chamfer. The nave arcades have square piers continuous with the arches, and with only a slight chamfer at the angles. The omission of capitals is the only notably up-to-date feature at St Augustin. The openings of the western nave bay are lower and narrower. The dark-stained nave roof has thin scissor-braces which show up starkly against the white ground. The aisle roof trusses have three angles, and a fretted frieze above the wall plates.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: Butterfield's reredos is of stone with some red marble and mosaic pattern. The gabled centre has some E.E. style tracery under the arch. The pulpit and stalls are of dark stained oak, in the hard and deliberately heavy style of much of Butterfield's later woodwork. Altar rails of wrought iron. The east end of the south aisle was re-ordered as a chapel in 1932, with parclose screen of 1936 in a simplified Perp style. The south chancel screen is of 1961. At the west end of the church is the font, by Butterfield. It has an octagonal stone bowl with a frieze of inverted scallops, on a very thick stem surrounded by eight pink marble colonnettes. It has a very tall Gothic font cover, reportedly c. 1952, painted and gilded, with pierced buttressing and needle-like pinnacles. In the east window is stained glass by Bell & Beckham, 1892: designed by Butterfield, the colours rather gaudy. In the north aisle (from east to west) one by Kempe & Co., 1920, then one by Percy Bacon, 1924. The third is of 1898, by Lavers & Westlake. The south aisle has two windows of 1900, by Clayton & Bell, then three by Lavers & Westlake, 1898. The fine and vibrantly coloured west windows (a pair, of two lights each) are by Karl Parsons, 1932. There are patterned encaustic tiled floors in the chancel. The nave has wood block floors (carpeted walkways). The bench pews are the originals designed by Butterfield.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Churchyard cross east of the chancel, commemorating the hymnologist Canon Henry Twells, d. 1900. He was the chief benefactor of the church. Against the west end of the church is an intrusive church hall of squared rubble and white brick, architects Dexter & Staniland, 1970-1. The north front has a shallow bowed centre with vertical glazing between buttress-like stone mullions.

HISTORY: The church was built in 1891-2, one of the third generation of High Anglican Bournemouth churches deriving (indirectly) from the work of the Rev. A.M. Bennett of St Peter. The parish of St Augustin was formed in 1900 out of St Stephen's parish (itself a memorial to Bennett, 1881). A vicarage was built immediately west of the church c. 1902-4, but vacated in 1942. The present church hall was built on the site in 1970-1. St Augustin was the last church designed by William Butterfield (1814-1900), one of the very greatest 19th century church architects. His career flourished from the mid-1840s when he was taken up by the influential Cambridge Camden (later Ecclesiological) Society as one of their favourite architects. In the 1850s he designed the great church of All Saints, Margaret Street, London which broke new ground in Victorian church-building, with its brick facing and extensive polychrome detailing. Butterfield┬┐s astonishing originality and fertility of invention are seen for example, in bold and intriguing uses of geometry and colour. He was a devout High Churchman with clients usually of similar leanings. His later churches rarely lived up to the promise of his early career.

Pevsner, N and Lloyd, D., Buildings of England, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (1967).
Victoria County Histories, 'The liberty of Westover: with Holdenhurst and Bournemouth', A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5 (1912), 133-137.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St Augustin, Bournemouth, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* The last church designed by William Butterfield, one of the greatest church architects of the Gothic Revival.
* Novel design of the west end with its bellcote rising from an enlarged buttress
* Fittings in the hard and rather muscular style of Butterfield, notably the font, pulpit and reredos
* Good stained glass, although probably only the east window was designed by Butterfield.
* One of at least nineteen High Anglican churches which stemmed from the work of the Rev. Alexander Morden Bennett in Bournemouth, c.1855-1900.

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

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