St Lawrence's Church, Parsonage Lane, Hungerford :: Shared Description

Compiled by Brian Robert Marshall

The church gives the appearance of medieval Perpendicular architecture, with its castellations and pinnacles. Looks can deceive and the Regency Gothic Revival church as seen today was built in 1814 or 1816 (sources vary). It replaced a much earlier church which, after 700 years, had collapsed. The Bath stone from which the church is built was brought up the nearby Kennet and Avon canal. The designer of the church, James Pinch, also came from Bath. Mr Pinch also designed a nearly identical church in Bathwick Link St. Lawrence's Church is listed Grade II* LinkExternal link

The interior has been bashed about quite considerably. In the Victorian era the interior was ‘re-ordered’ with numerous stained glass windows installed along with a new organ.

More information can be found here LinkExternal link and here LinkExternal link

Websites can sometimes be ephemeral so the relevant texts from these sources are as follows:

Hungerford.uk.net: “The Church of St Lawrence in Hungerford was built in 1816 to replace the earlier church, which had collapsed, and had stood, it is believed, on the same site for nearly 700 years. It was constructed in Bath stone, which was brought to the site by the newly opened Kennet and Avon Canal , and was designed by Mr James Pinch of Bath , who had also designed a nearly identical church at Bathwick in Bath . However in the latter part of the 19th Century, it was felt that the interior and the profile of the exterior could be improved. The interior of the church was re-ordered at a cost of nearly £3000, when decorated style arcades of Bath stone replaced the original cast iron pillars, and on the exterior the majority of the battlements were replaced with plain coping. At the same time a new organ was installed at a cost of just over £500.
The general appearance of the church can best be described as Georgian Gothic, and in its present form comprises nave and four bays with aisles, sanctuary with shallow apsidal east end of semi-circular outline, west tower, south porch, and also a small porch in the angle between the apse and the south aisle. The interior ceiling is oak panelled, and the beautiful stained glass windows were added at the end of the 19th century when the original windows were each replaced by subscription to commemorate specific events. The Rev. J. B. Anstice, who was Vicar from 1866 until 1894, is commemorated in 3 of the windows. The west tower, which is of three stages and has an embattled parapet with angle pinnacles, contains a peal of eight bells and a Sanctus bell. The original church had only three bells and a Sanctus bell.
On the South side of the previous church had stood the Chantry chapel founded in 1325 by Sir Robert Hungerford, in memory of his wife Geva. This was demolished at the time of the Reformation, but Sir Robert's much mutilated effigy still lies in the church today together with the inscribed stone which contains the indulgence of 550 days for all who pray for the soul of Sir Robert and his wife. The Patrons of the living are the Dean and Chapter of Windsor , but the rectorial tithes are by exchange transferred to the Dean and Chapter of Winchester. The living passed to Windsor at the beginning of the 15th Century when the Hungerford Church and lands became the property of the Crown.”

berkshirehistory.com: “Hungerford Church is hidden away down by the Kennet & Avon Canal, some way behind the main town-centre. It is a dramatic sight when first seen peeking through the trees from the road. It appears to be a magnificent piece of medieval Perpendicular architecture, with castellations and pinnacles everywhere. However, it is Regency Gothic Revival, only built in 1814 probably in imitation of the real thing at Newbury. Its Bath stone was brought up the canal. The previous building had unfortunately collapsed after the tower had been rebuilt.
The interior appears rather wide and open. It has been much altered in various Victorian re-orderings. The apsidal chancel is rather pleasing. The font came from the old church, but the chief ancient relic is the 14th century effigy of Robert de Hungerford and the unusual inscription which goes with it. The rest of the monuments are mural and rather disappointing, despite some of them being quite large. We have the Stonhouses from Standen Manor, the Willes from Hungerford Park and Sir Bulstrode Whitelocke's great grandaughters from Chilton Lodge which, although now in Hungerford, was then in the Berkshire part of Chilton Foliat. Also a small tablet to a young Victorian who was killed by a lightning strike in Durban, South Africa.”
by Brian Robert Marshall
More nearby... Related descriptions Selection is automatic and approximate, it might not always select closely matching descriptions

12 images use this description:

SU3368 : Memorial plaque to Mr and Mrs Cheyney, St Lawrence's Church, Parsonage Lane, Hungerford by Brian Robert Marshall
SU3368 : Church of St Lawrence by N Chadwick
SU3368 : Font, St Lawrence's Church, Parsonage Lane, Hungerford by Brian Robert Marshall
SU3368 : Church of St Lawrence by N Chadwick
SU3368 : Great War memorial, St Lawrence's Church, Parsonage Lane, Hungerford by Brian Robert Marshall
SU3368 : West elevation, St Lawrence's Church, Parsonage Lane, Hungerford by Brian Robert Marshall
SU3368 : Church of St Lawrence by N Chadwick
SU3368 : Church of St Lawrence by N Chadwick
SU3368 : Effigy of Sir Robert Hungerford, St Lawrence's Church, Parsonage Lane, Hungerford by Brian Robert Marshall
SU3368 : Model, St Lawrence's Church, Parsonage Lane, Hungerford by Brian Robert Marshall
SU3368 : Church of St Lawrence by N Chadwick
SU3368 : Great War memorial, St Lawrence's Church, Parsonage Lane, Hungerford by Brian Robert Marshall


These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Sat, 4 Oct 2014, Updated: Sun, 5 Oct 2014

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2014 Brian Robert Marshall, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

You are not logged in login | register