Building » Eastbourne – Our Lady of Ransom

Eastbourne – Our Lady of Ransom

Grove Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 4EU

  • © Copyright Julian Osley and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence (cropped)

  • © Copyright John Salmon and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence

A substantial Gothic church of the 1890s by F. A. Walters, with landmark tower and short spire.

The foundation stone was laid on 11 December 1900 and the total cost was to be £11,000.  The new church (the nave and aisles of the present building) opened on 15 December 1901. The tower and copper spire were built in 1912 and the church was complete and re-opened on 11 February 1926 with the addition of the chancel, Lady chapel and sacristies. The architect Frederick Arthur Walters (1850-1932) was a pupil of George Goldie and, like Goldie, developed an extensive practice designing Catholic churches. There are eight churches designed by Walters in the Arundel & Brighton Diocese alone. Walters’ best known work is the rebuilding of the abbey at Buckfast in Devon. The original part of the church is built of sandstone with Bath stone dressings whilst the later, sacristies, sanctuary and Lady Chapel, are built in Bath stone.

List description


Roman Catholic Church. 1890-1903. By F A Walters. Buff sandstone and plain red tile roof. Decorated style. Chancel , with sacristy etc, nave, north aisle with baptistry, south aisle, lady chapel (north), south chapel, south-west tower and spire, shallow west porch.

EXTERIOR. Chancel with five-light Decorated east window and 2 two-light clerestorey windows north and south. Gabled buttresses against the east wall. Chancel surrounded at the east end by sacristy, etc and chapels. Bell turret over the junction of chancel and nave. Five bay aisles with two-light windows with buttresses between, plain parapet and lean-to roofs. No clerestorey to nave. Tower with lancet windows in the two lower stages two-light belfry windows, with octagonal third stage, parapet with chequerwork and behind this a shingled spire. Shallow west porch with Virgin and Child in a niche in gable.

INTERIOR. Four bay nave with stone multi-shafted columns supporting pointed and chamfered arches. Octopartite wooden vaulting in chancel and nave roof keeled in imitation vaulting ribs. Elaborate Decorated reredos covering the whole width of the chancel – with figures of saints under canopies, doors either side. Low stone screen in front of chancel Carved wooden pulpit on stone base (north). Reredos in Lady Chapel with three sculpted panels depicting the Nativity, Adoration and the Flight into Egypt.  Virgin and Child on a pedestal under a canopy (north). Reredos in south chapel, Christ flanked by two saints. Quatrefoil pier in the nave with subsidiary shafts in the angles, all members with fillets. West gallery on stone piers.

HISTORY. A mission was established in Eastbourne in 1869 and a brick building was later erected in junction Road. The building of the present church was led by Fr Charles Stapley and commenced in 1891 and completed in 1903 during the incumbency of Fr Paul Lynch.

Heritage Details

Architect: F. A. Walters

Original Date: 1901

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Grade II