Hove - St Peter

Portland Road, Aldrington, Hove, East Sussex BN3 5GD

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A startling building in its re-creation of an Early Christian basilica; the campanile forms a notable marker in the townscape.  

Roman Catholic church. 1912. Architect probably J.Kelly. Lombard Romanesque-style.

Red brick laid in stretcher bond, slate roofs, round roofs to chancel and lady chapel, deep overhanging eaves with open pediments to south chapels and entrance.

Plan: apsidal chancel and lady chapel, 6-bay aisled nave with 3 square-ended chapels to south aisle, semicircular north-west projection for font, south-west campanile, entrance west end; presbytery abutting north-east corner, entrance on Shelley Road. West front: open pediment with circular window and niche above open pediment to entrance, flanked by paired pilasters, round-headed doorcase; very tall campanile tower abutting to south, copper roofed, open loggia of Tuscan columns to bell chamber, recessed panels and giant pilasters; south front unlit apart from 3 tiny casements and large round-headed clerestorey windows, dramatic cavetto shaped buttresses between the 3 open pedimented chapels, 2 lancets in curved wall of apsidal lady chapel, apsidal chancel unlit.

Interior rendered. Barrel vault roof with ribs, also rendered. Nave arcade of Tuscan columns linked by round-headed arches, similar forming 3-bay screen at west end with blind roundels in spandrels supporting organ loft with turned wooden balustrading. Heavy modillion moulded cornice. Apsidal chancel faced with brown marble panels linked by vertical bands of black and white marble in chevron pattern, sanctuary colonnade of variegated green marble giant pilasters with Corinthian capitals, linked by round-headed arches. Inlaid marble communion rails. Lady chapel with marble floor, marble inlaid reredos and altar. Marble lined 2-bay semicircular recess for font: white marble baluster font with flat cover. Wooden pulpit with sounding board. A fine interior. Presbytery red brick laid in stretcher bond, semicircular relieving arches to window openings, slate roofs, 2 storeys plus attic, 1:1 bays. Left: open pediment with deep eaves, tripartite lunette window with 16-pane sash window, below full-height flat-roofed canted bay with 16-pane sash windows centre flanked by 8-pane windows, 2-storey block to right with square-headed 16-pane sash windows on each floor. Entrance on right return (north).

St Peter’s Hall was built in 1902 and served as the church until St Peter’s church was built at a cost of around £9,000.  The present church was opened in August 1915.  The pews were considered unsatisfactory and were replaced with the present ones, designed for the church, in 1929.  Pevsner gives the architect as Marshall and the 1998 quinquennial report refers to record of J A Marshall, chief assistant to J F Bentley at Westminster Cathedral having been involved.  Claude Kelly was the son of John Kelly (1840-1904) who designed over 50 churches.  Claude was in partnership with his father and took over the practice from 1904 when John died.

Diocese: Arundel and Brighton

Architect: Claude Kelly

Original Date: 1915

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II