St. Pauls Church

From Historical Hastings

The foundation stone of St Pauls Church, Church Road, was laid in 1866 and was opened by the Ven. Archdeacon Otter on the 27th of September 1868. The site was purchased by Mr. W. Gilliat of East Hoathly, in 1866, for the purpose of erecting this church upon it, The building was constructed from the designs and under the superintendence of Mr. J. Newton, architect, of Salisbury-street, Strand, with the contractors being Messrs. Jackson and Shaw, of Earl-street, Westminster, with a total construction cost of £20,000.[1]

A description of the church contemporaneous with its opening reads[1]:

The exterior of the building is of local blue stone with Bath stone dressings. There are two porches. The tower is 82ft. high, and is surmounted by a spire about 80 ft. in height. The interior seats about 700 persons, and consists of a nave and two side aisles, the northern aisle terminating in the tower, in which is the organ, and facing this on the south side is the chancel aisle. The nave is separated from the side aisles by four richly-decorated arches on each side, which are supported by six circular shafts and four responds, alternately of Devonshire marble and Greek green marble. The clerestory has a succession of narrow lights grouped together, harmonising well with the noble roof above them. The east end consists of a chancel and sacrarium, terminated by an apse, of the horseshoe form, containing five windows filled with stained glass by Messrs. Clayton and Bell. The floor is payed with marble and Minton’s tiles; the sacrarium floor containing five marble medallions of the slaying of the Innocents, the stoning of St. Stephen, the beheading of St. Paul, that of St. James, and the crucifixion of St. Peter. There are also five smaller but equally rich medallions representing the emblems of the sufferings of the Saviour. All of these are incised in Sicilian marble from cartoons supplied by Messrs. Burlison and Grylls, of Newman-street, as well as the sculptures, incised in alabaster, of the Lord's Supper in the reredos, which will be shortly fixed. The Rector is the Rev. Henry Robinson, M.A.

The church served its congregation for a hundred years until demolished and replaced by an uninspiring block of flats. The imposing square ‘Paxton Tower’ dominated the scene being visible for miles around and the vicarage, a large detached building with its own separate coach house, occupied a huge site on the corner of Blomfield Road[2]. The church was demolished in 1964.


References & Notes