Andrew Hooker Violins

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Christchurch House

view from one of the steeples while the scaffolding was in place

14 flights of scaffolding
Christ Church, Rode, was built in 1824 and largely paid for by Charles Daubeney, who was archdeacon of Sarum.

The building is to the design of Henry Edmund Goodridge, a Bath architect perhaps best known for the extraordinary Beckford Tower on Lansdown (1826), but also responsible for the Corridor (1825), Cleveland Bridge (1827) and a number of other early Gothick churches in the area. (Gothick, with the extra k, is the correct spelling for this style of building). In "The Buildings of England" (Penguin 1958) Nikolaus Pevsner says the church is remarkable and has a fantastic exterior. To be fair, though, Pevsner also groups this building with contemporary excrescences. The 2011 edition by Andrew Foyle is kinder - he calls it an amazing conception and says the inspiration is King's College Chapel, Cambridge, no less.

original Georgian window

View of the narthex
Internally little of the original Georgian decoration remains except for the red and white ribboned stained-glass windows either side of the sanctuary, and the strange plaster faces in the narthex (now a music room). It is probable that the nave and west windows were replaced with Victorian stained glass, although this, having much larger panels, was less able to withstand the shock of a bomb aimed at a searchlight on Rode Hill during the Baedeker raids of April 1942. The clear glass dates from the 1940's and makes the nave very light.

plaster face in narthex

The church was made redundant in 1995. The south steeple and the roof required urgent attention, and English Heritage generously grant-aided the repairs. The conversion required little more than the installation of services and the screens to partition off rooms within the side aisles.