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© Mr Ron Holmes ARPS

IoE Number: 412423
Photographer: Mr Ron Holmes ARPS
Date Photographed: 03 November 2002
Date listed: 13 September 1995
Date of last amendment: 13 September 1995
Grade II

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POOLESZ09SWASHLEY ROAD, Upper Parkstone958-1/5/250(North side)

POOLE SZ09SW ASHLEY ROAD, Upper Parkstone 958-1/5/250 (North side) Church of St John the Evangelist II Church. 1902-3. By Romaine Walker and Besant in eclectic style combining Georgian, Decorated and Byzantine elements. Red brick in English bond with Bath stone dressings and plain-tile roofs. PLAN: chancel, organ chamber and choir vestry to N of chancel, vestry to S, nave, north and south aisles and S porch. EXTERIOR: 2-bay chancel has 5-light E window with round-arched head and hoodmould continued as string course either side. Window has elaborate Decorated tracery: ogee-arched heads to lights, further subdivided by 2 trefoiled tracery arches with small encircled quatrefoil between them and pendant boss below. 2 outer lights are grouped within round-headed sub-arches with quatrefoil to head flanked by mouchettes. Above sub-arches in head of window is multi-cusped quatrefoil in circle flanked by mouchettes. The tracery of the sub-arches is repeated in all the 2-light windows to the aisles, W end of nave, E window of S vestry and N window of choir vestry. Foundation stone below E window inscribed THIS STONE WAS LAID/ ON APRIL 17TH 1902/BY/ LADY WIMBORNE. E end is flanked by stone-quoined angle buttresses with trefoiled gablets and has stone-coped gable with kneelers and foliated gable cross. Circular cinque-foiled window to either side of sanctuary. Organ chamber and choir vestry form wing at right angle to chancel across E end of N aisle. Vestry has chamfered door on E side at N end with pointed-arched head beside pair of small windows with roll-moulded surrounds, round-arched heads and single hoodmould; 2-light window to N end. Vestry to S side of chancel continues S aisle of nave and has 2-light E window with similar tracery and hoodmould. Door to S side with 1 order of shafts with small basket and foliage capitals in Byzantine style, round-arched head, plain recessed tympanum and hoodmould. Vestry has stone-coped gable with kneeler to left. S slope of gable is interrupted by stone-coped shoulder possibly for chimney stack or small bellcote; stone quoined S angle buttress with trefoiled gablets. Aisles have similar 2-light windows. S porch has stone quoins, stone-coped gable, clock face to gable above doorway with 1 order of shafts, Byzantine-style capitals, roll moulded round-arched head and hoodmould; 1-light windows to sides with cusped round-arched heads and hoodmoulds continued as string courses either side. W end of nave breaks forward slightly and has pair of similar 2-light windows. Shallow gabled W porch with doorway which has 1 order of shafts, small Byzantine-style basket and foliage capitals, roll-moulded round-arched head and recessed plain tympanum. Nave and aisles each have stone-coped gables with kneelers outermost. Nave has foliated cross to E gable and cut-down stone base of former bellcote to W gable. Chamfered plinth and buttresses between aisle bays, those to S side with trefoiled round-arched stone gablets. Similar angle buttresses to aisles. INTERIOR: exposed red brick walls with stone detailing. Nave has 6-bay arcades, plain circular piers with moulded bases on square plinths and capitals inspired by St Sophia, Constantinople with square abaci and beasts to corners over baskets. Beasts include doves and symbols of the Four Evangelists. Round-headed arches with wreathed medallions to spandrels on continuous stone panelling with regularly spaced vertical ribs. Boarded timber roof with deep cove and tunnel vault with double-chamfered ribs at regular intervals and wrought-iron ties. Aisles have boarded timber segmental tunnel-vaulted roofs. Twin-shafted chancel arch with Byzantine-style capitals and round-arched head. Chancel has 2-bay arcades on square diagonally set brick piers with detached stone shafts and similar capitals. Upper walls treated in same way as nave. E window is flanked by twisted colonnettes with acanthus capitals and Commandments on stone tablets with twisted rope surrounds. An early photograph hanging in the church shows the chancel originally contained an apparently genuine Georgian timber reredos below E window and the same width (since destroyed) which may have determined the proportions and influenced the style of the church. Canon Basil Clarke, in manuscript notes deposited with Council for the Care of Churches, wrote that the church was consecrated 9 May 1903 and cost »5,260; builders Messrs Jenkins and Son of Bournemouth and materials Milton red brick with Cosham Down Bath stone dressings, Monks Park Bath stone inside, and pews of cypress wood. He commented "The style is most peculiar... the windows round-headed but filled with somewhat outre tracery, the arcades Byzantine... We did not like it much - it is of course horridly low". The stylistic brew is certainly very unusual. The architects did achieve, however, a fine interior on a very limited budget by the standards of the day. (Buildings of England: Pevsner N & Newman J: Dorset: London: 1972-: 334; Clarke Canon B: Mss notes: 1957-1959).

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