Bexhill-on-Sea - St Mary Magdalene

Sea Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN40 1RH

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St Mary Magdalene’s church is correctly listed and graded at grade II.  Arthur Young is not a well-known architect though he had a varied and extensive practice based in London.  He designed Catholic churches in Harrow, Buntingford and elsewhere, and convents in Watford and Bayswater.  He was articled to Philip Lockwood in Brighton and with Mickelthwaite & Somers Clarke, and set up practice on his own account in 1877.  

Built in 1907, Architect Arthur Young. Stone building in Gothic style. Cruciform plan with embattled central tower, transepts and north and west porches.

St Mary Magdalene’s is a well-composed building that is certainly very important to the local townscape.  The materials are of good quality.  As a work of architecture it is competent but not exceptional, having no particular originality.

 The present church was built in 1907 to the designs of Arthur Young (b1853) of Gray’s Inn, London, who designed several catholic churches across the country, as part of a varied general practice that he set up in 1877.  Young had been articled to Philip Causton Lockwood, the Borough Surveyor of Brighton from 1870-73.  Young also spent time in the offices of E B Ferrey and George Somers Clarke, both of whom did much ecclesiastical work.

The church is cruciform in plan, squat in appearance but with a picturesque outline of embattled tower, turrets and porches.  It is built of Kentish ragstone with Bath stone dressings.  The west porch is a slightly later addition.  The interior is quite richly decorated.  Stained glass in the chancel and south transept is by Meyer & Co. of Munich.   Other windows have good decorative leading and coloured border glass.  The chancel has a marble pavement, carved oak reredos by Messrs. Robinson of London with statues by Her Stuffessor of the Austrian Tyrol.  Altar of Sicilian marble with frontal and sides of Irish and Siberian marble.  

Diocese: Arundel and Brighton

Architect: Arthur Young

Original Date: 1897

Conservation Area: No

Modifications: 1907

Listed Grade: Grade II