George Fellowes Prynne


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St. Paul

Fellowes Prynne was requested to draw up plans for restoration of the nave, which amounted to a complete rebuild, including tower and spire, on to the chancel of 1881, complete with stone facing in keeping with the existing chancel. However, money was not forthcoming, and the majority of the plans were abandoned. The only works carried out to these plans were the enlargement of the organ chamber, with a new screen, and enlargement of the organ (carried out as a memorial to a previous incumbent), and also the addition of a new vestry and vestry porch on the north side of the church at the east end. Mention of an organ screen in correspondence from H. H. Martyn of Cheltenham indicates that they made this. Hackett and son built the vestry.

The main piece of work here is the memorial chapel of 1922. Externally, there appear to be many of the hallmarks of the architect, from the stone facing and contrasting stone window surrounds, to the apsidal chapel with its distinctive lead flashing at the apex. It would seem that then style of exterior already used on the 1881 chancel was much in keeping with Fellowes Prynne’s own ideas, and he saw to it that the stonework of the chapel’s outer wall blended perfectly with what was already there. The nave remains in red brick, which, had the plans been carried out to his specification, would have been stone faced to match the rest of the building. The incumbent who commissioned the plans from Fellowes Prynne, the Rev. Frederick Peirson, commented of the red brick: “too ugly to behold”; ivy was allowed to grow rampant over the walls until around the thirties.  The photograph shows the exterior at present.

The interior of the memorial chapel, which was incidentally also built by Hackett and Son, has an apsidal sanctuary, with a small wooden altar in three panels, decorated with quatrefoils and cusps, with barley-twist frames picked out with gilding. There is a dossal curtain and a pair of riddel posts with a “standard” Fellowes Prynne-designed wooden angel upon each. The rails are later.

The lych gate, erected in memory of the Rev. Richard Harvey, was dedicated in 1908. Fellowes Prynne designed this memorial in 1907 at the request of the Rev. F. W. Peirson. The structure is of stone, surmounted by oak, with a tiled roof topped by a cross. The structure was manufactured by the firm of H. H. Martyn, who subcontracted the erection of the lych gate to the local firm of Hackett and Son. It would appear that this was not the happiest job Martyn’s did for Fellowes Prynne; records tell that they made a heavy loss, and would seem to have regretted subcontracting part of the task.

This lych gate is now a listed building in its own right. The photograph, courtesy of Michael Cooper to whom thanks are due, shows the lych gate, and on the left is believed to be George Fellowes Prynne (see detail on left).

If the plans as drawn up in 1900 had been fully carried out, Sarisbury church would have looked very much like a full-scale Fellowes Prynne church, complete with tower and spire, not to mention the attractive lych gate.  The exterior image, showing the church from before Fellowes Prynne's involvement, was sent way back in 1903.