Hastings – St Clement, Halton

The small aisleless church with tall lancets, a total of five at the west end was typical of its date.  It was built in 1839 largely at the cost of the Countess Waldegrave, a leading early Victorian philanthropist in the town (Elleray p24).  There was a plain, single stone bellcote and originally it lacked a chancel.  Its roof was the usual spindly kind of the period.  Some doubt surrounds the architect, as the ICBS application is signed by the London architects G Pownall and F Wigg, as well as by T Catley, a local man, who was certainly a surveyor if not an architect.  There is a slightly earlier reference of 1838 to Catley in connection with the church (Colvin 4th ed p237) so he may have produced the design which then required the involvement of more skilled architects in preparing an application to the ICBS, who were frequently dismissive of those whose abilities were in doubt.

A chancel was added in 1888 (ESRO Par 368/4/6), almost as wide as the nave and with a vestry to the south.  In that year  there was an unsuccessful application to the ICBS for repairs and reseating, which named A W Jeffery and W Skiller as architects, so it is likely that they designed the new chancel.  It cost only £150 and the name of the architect is otherwise not recorded.  The church was closed in 1970 and united with the parish of All Souls, Athelstan Road, itself now redundant.  The church of St Clement was pulled down.


Glass: (East window) 1939 by Sir J N Comper, to mark the centenary of the church (Symondson and Bucknall p304).

Image: Rock & Co, London, 1849 (out of copyright)


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