St. John's Church, Portland

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File:Portland, parish church of St. John the Baptist - geograph.org.uk - 521884.jpg
St John's Church situated prominently in Fortuneswell.

St. John's Church (also known as St John the Baptist Church) is a 19th-century Anglian church, located in Fortuneswell village, on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. It was built between 1838-40 and has been a Listed Grade II building since January 1951.[1] The churchyard walls, gate piers, railings, and steps of St. John's Church, dating from 1839–40, became Grade II Listed in September 1978.[2] At this same time, two headstone monuments, about 5 metres north east from the west tower of the church became Grade II Listed.[3]

Designed by Edward Mondey or Charles Wallis, the church was completed with sittings for 616, for a total cost of £2,115, plus £200 for the ground. Built of Portland stone in small blocks, the church has a Gothic structure, which is simple structure in Commissioners' Early English style. It has also been described as Norman in its architecture. The church is of a simple dignity, reflecting minimal outlay by the Commissioners, but provides an important accent in the street.[4]

The church remains active to date, as part of the Portland Parish - a host of three churches; St John's Church (St John the Baptist), All Saints Church and the Avalanche Memorial Church (St Andrew's Church).[5][6]

History

St George's Church, built between 1754 and 1766, had remained the island's only parish church into the 19th-century.[7] However by the 1830s, it had become too small and inconvenient for the increasing population within Underhill. It was decided that a new church should be built for Underhill, within Fortuneswell village, as a sister church to St George's. The church's construction commenced in 1838, and was completed by 1840, with the work undertaken by John Hancock of Weymouth.[8] In 1865 Underhill became a parish in its own right, with St. John's becoming the parish church.[9]

File:St John's Church Churchyard, Portland, Fortuneswell.jpg
One section of the churchyard of St John's Church.

During 1876 the church underwent renovation and was also enlarged.[10] This included the addition of a chancel and organ chamber by George Crickmay.[4] During 1901 a new Parish room for the church was built and opened at the north end of Ventnor Road.[11] When the Second World War drew to a close, on VJ Day, the 14th Port Regiment of the US Army presented its Stars and Stripes colours to St John's Church, as a memento of its close association with the people of Portland, both service and civilian.[12]

References

  1. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1205490)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1203084)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1205523)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Legg, Rodney (1999). Portland Encyclopaedia. Dorset Publishing Company. p. 133. ISBN 978-0948699566.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Find Us". Portlandparish.org. Retrieved 1 May 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. A Church Near You. "Portland: St John the Baptist, Portland - Dorset | Diocese of Salisbury". Achurchnearyou.com. Retrieved 20 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Portland Churches, Buildings and Views". ancestry.com. Retrieved 7 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. https://www.dorsetforyou.com/media/199172/Portland-conservation-area-appraisal/pdf/Appraisal_of_the_Conservation_Areas_of_Portland.pdf
  9. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pbtyc/Portland/U_Hill/St_John/St_John_1.html
  10. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pbtyc/Portland/U_Hill/St_John/St_John_1.html
  11. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pbtyc/Portland/U_Hill/St_John/St_John_1.html
  12. Pomeroy, Colin A. (1995). Military Dorset Today: Second World War Scenes and Settings That Can Still Be Seen 50 Years On. Silver Link Publishing Ltd. p. 143. ISBN 978-1857940770.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Media related to St. John's Church, Portland at Wikimedia Commons

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