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IoE Number: 480615
Photographer: N/A
Date Photographed: N/A
Date listed: 13 October 1952
Date of last amendment: 26 August 1999
Grade II*

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BRIGHTON TQ3004NE DYKE ROAD 577-1/32/208 (East side) 13/10/52 Church of St Nicholas of Myra GV II* Formerly known as: St Nicholas's Church CHURCH STREET. Parish church. Late C14, though only the tower, chancel arch and most of the nave arcade are now of this date; in 1853 the rest of the church was largely rebuilt, including the widening of both aisles and the lengthening of the north aisle, by RC Carpenter for the Rev HM Wagner; choir vestry and northern approach added 1877 by George Somers Clarke junior; north vestry added 1892 by Somers Clarke junior, who also renewed the roof and added the clerestory at this date. Knapped flint with stone dressings, and dressed flint to the tower except on the lower part of the south face which is cobbled; roofs of slate. PLAN: chancel under a lower roof, south-east chapel, north-east vestries, nave and aisles, west tower, south porch. EXTERIOR: the east window is 4-centred with 5 lights and rectilinear tracery; the south-east chapel is under a separate gable and has a 4-centred east window with 3 lights and rectilinear tracery; the vestries are under 2 gables; the southern has a basement window with a 4-centred arch, 3 lights and curvilinear tracery; the tracery in the rest of the church is curvilinear unless otherwise specified; pointed-arched, 2-light window above; stack to the southern vestry; the northern vestry has a flat-arched window of 4 lights; covered passage to Church Street. The south side of the south-east chapel is of 3 bays with an elliptical-arched entrance between buttresses towards the centre, 2 flat-arched 2-light windows either side, and a shorter one above the entrance. The south aisle has 4 flat-arched 2-light windows, and there are 10 flat-arched, 2-light windows to the clerestory. Gabled south porch with pointed-arched entrance having an inner order with roll-mouldings now much decayed. The north aisle has 4 flat-arched, 2-light windows and there are ten flat-arched, 2-light windows to the clerestory. Low tower, square in plan with angle buttresses; pointed-arched west door detailed as for porch with a 2-light window above and a small trefoiled window above that; one lancet at the belfry stage on this west face and, on the south face at this level, a flat-arched, 2-light belfry opening; there is a similar opening of one light on the north face; the embattled parapet is stepped out; late C20 wooden fleche surmounted by a metal finial. INTERIOR: chancel of 2 bays, open to the south chapel, the choir bay having 3 shafts with hollow-mouldings and a moulded inner order to the arch. Wooden panelling with elaborate blank tracery designed by Somers Clarke junior and incorporating a triptych by Matthew Ridley Corbet as the reredos; sanctuary floor of coloured marbles; choirs stall with poppy heads, designed by Somers Clarke junior; wagon roof decorated with painted ribs and bosses in the manner of GF Bodley. Chancel screen of c1480 with blind arcaded panels below, ogee tracery and vaulting to either side; repaired, and rood figures added, 1887, metal gates of about the same date, painted decoration of c1890. The east and west walls of the nave have painted decoration designed by Somers Clarke junior and executed by CE Kempe, c1892, trailing foliage and sacred emblems on the east wall, stencilled patterns and coats of arms on the west. Nave arcade of 5 bays with octagonal columns and a double-chamfered inner order; similar arch to belfry with a screen of 1897; simple wooden panelled roof with curved 'queen posts', and the second beam from the east inscribed in memory of Somers Clarke junior. The aisles have similarly panelled lean-to roofs of 1894. South chapel has late C19 wooden reredos and panelling, and a roof decorated c1895; it was enlarged c1900; statue of St Nicholas designed by JN Comper, c1924, to right of arch to chapel. Norman font, probably of c1165, a circular drum of Caen stone, with scenes from the New Testament and the life of St Nicholas between a lower frieze of variegated ornament and a band of nailhead carving; wooden font cover of 1857. Wall monument to Frances Crosbie in the north aisle by Richard Westmacott, and a portrait bust on a scrolled base at the west end of the south aisle in memory of his wife, also by Westmacott. Wellington Memorial of 1853, designed by RC Carpenter and carved by John Birnie Philip: modelled on an Eleanor cross, the ogee arches of the third stage now broken in places. Pulpit of 1867. Stained glass: east window designed by JR Clayton and made by Ward and Hughes, c1853; windows in the south chapel and aisles between 1878 and 1887, and tower window of 1897 by CE Kempe. 3 lead tablets, of 1675-1705, in the belfry. HISTORICAL NOTE: St Nicholas' was the parish church of Brighton until 1873. In addition to the features described, the church is of interest for its connection with the Rev HM Wagner, vicar from 1824 to 1870, who dominated the Anglican life of Brighton in the early and mid-Victorian periods. (Carder T: The Encyclopedia of Brighton: Lewes: 1990-; St Nicolas, Brighton (church guide): Brighton; Day AF: The Church of St Nicolas of Myra, Dyke Road, Brighton: Brighton; Harrison M: Victorian Stained Glass: London: 1980-: 30).

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