St. Peter's Church, Portland

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St. Peter's Church is a redundant 19th-century church, located in The Grove village, on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. Designed by Major-General Sir Edmund Du Cane,[1] the church was consecrated in August 1872 and is now a Grade II* Listed building.[2]

The gate piers and boundary walls to the north and west of the church, dating circa 1875, are also Grade II Listed,[3] along with the church's vicarage.[4] In 2008 St. Peter's Church was included in English Heritage's list of Heritage at Risk.[1][5]

History

Originally an Anglican parish church, the chapel was built between 1870 and 1872 by convicts from HM Prison Portland and HM Prison Dorchester for the use of the neighbouring military garrisons stationed nearby. Services and such events as baptisms were still held in the church until during the 20th century.[6][7] It was built for a total cost of £8000 - the most expensive church on the island in 1872.[8][9]

In 1973, the church was declared redundant and became privately owned, with no public access.[9] Since early 2004, the church was listed for sale but there were strict rules governing its development. In 2013, a public right of way through the church's grounds was made open. Around the same time it sold for £100,000 freehold.[10]

Design

The church is built with Portland ashlar stone and has slate roofs, using ornate architecture. Inside one window was replaced due to bomb damage in 1941, and the new window was placed in memory of Bandmaster J. Tyson and men of the Dorset Regiment killed in action. The stained glass in the church dates from the 20th century. The church still maintains many of its original features and is set in walled gardens with mature trees. Within the church is a mosaic, bordering around the porch and chancel, which was the work of female convicts. It was laid by Constance Kent, who was serving a life sentence in HM Prison Parkhurst.[2][8] In the 1972 book The Buildings of England, authors Newman and Pevsner stated "St Peter is in its own way as surprising and as bold in scale as St George's Church, Reforne, Easton."[8]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Portland, (St. Peter, The Grove)". People.bath.ac.uk. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1205607)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1205794)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1203092)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "English Heritage | English Heritage". risk.english-heritage.org.uk. Retrieved 6 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Portland St Peters Church Baptisms". Opcdorset.org. Retrieved 18 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Mee, Arthur (1939). Dorset: Thomas Hardy's Country. Hodder and Stoughton. pp. 186–191.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Pevsner, Nikolaus; John Newman (1972). "Dorset". The Buildings of England: 343.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 Paul Benyon. "Portland Year Book". Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 18 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Commercial Property - St Peter's Church, Portland, Other". propertypilot.co.uk. Retrieved 6 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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