George Fellowes Prynne

 

introduction | work | screens | biography | sharville.org.uk

 

SIDCUP Kent
St. John

Fellowes Prynne was asked to enlarge upon the existing church, and designed all but the chancel, vestries and Lady chapel. These were by Withers. To quote from the guide book:

It was stated at the time that the architect felt bound to carry on the somewhat simple style and treatment of the existing chancel, with the insertion of red brick work and Bath stone. The design provided for a steeple to rise to a height of 140 feet but it was never built due to the lack of funds. Hence the strange squat tower. Mrs. Shirley Woolmer opened a shilling fund to build the “Victoria” (so named because of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee), and many tradesmen took shilling fund cards to help raise money but the response was not forthcoming. With a debt on the building of £4700 (in 1904) it was not surprising.

Internally there are many standard Fellowes Prynne hallmarks, but probably the most eye-catching feature is the set of two ranks of statues of saints on either side of the chancel arch. Fellowes Prynne used the idea of “stacked” saints elsewhere (for example at Ealing) but here they are placed at an angle to draw the eye into the chancel, which was already there when he started his designs. It is this piece of ingenuity which helps the chancel, which is smaller than Fellowes Prynne himself would have wanted, to look comfortable in the context of the building.

The great stone screen is shown to excellent effect in the undated vintage postcard illustrated, as are the “stacked” saints. See also one of the postcards of St Saviour, Ealing, which also shows this feature well.

H.H. Martyn was the contractor used to make the figures, an area of work in which they specialised.

In 1920 the War Memorial chapel was dedicated. This was also designed by Fellowes Prynne.

The first postcard of the exterior is undated, and the second was sent in November 1905.