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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Berkshire

by Peter Kessler, 22 November 2019

West Berkshire Part 3: Churches of Hungerford to South Standen

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Hungerford, Berkshire

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Hungerford, is at the north-west corner of Priory Road and Lourdes Crescent which itself is opposite Hillside Road. The first church was a corrugated iron, single-storey prefabricated hall, built in 1939. The congregation used this until the present red brick, red-tile-roofed building was erected in 2013-14. Funds were raised by building and selling the crescent of houses surrounding it. The design was by Jeremy Bell of JBKS Architects.

Ebenezer Chapel (Wesleyan), Hungerford, Berkshire

The former Ebenezer Chapel (Wesleyan) sits on the northern side of Church Street, with an entrance that lies directly opposite Prospect Place, but with the building set back behind a large modern house. A Wesleyan chapel was opened here early in the 1800s (possibly in a private house), and was enlarged in 1807. With numbers increasing, a grander building was opened in 1869 on Charnham Street (see links), and this building became a day and Sunday School.

Parish Church of St Lawrence, Hungerford, Berkshire

The Parish Church of St Lawrence Hungerford sits at the north-west corner of Parsonage Lane, north both of the main line railway and the town itself, with the Kennet & Avon Canal on its northern flank. A church stood on this site from the thirteenth century. No precise record of it seems to have survived, only a fragment of stonework. Samuel Prout drew it in 1811 to supply basic details: chancel, clerestoried nave and aisles, north transept, embattled west tower.

Parish Church of St Lawrence, Hungerford, Berkshire

In 1811 an Act of Parliament was granted to repair the old building. The tower was in a bad way and this was rebuilt first but, in February 1814, 'most of the ancient part of the roof and body of the church fell down'. A new building had to be considered instead. In 1816 construction of the present Gothic building was completed, although it was regarded in A History of the County of Berkshire of 1924 as 'an uninteresting building'. The font belongs to the previous building.

North Standen Chapel, Hungerford, Berkshire

The remains of North Standen Chapel stood in the grounds of North Standen Farm (now 'House'), to the north-east of the farm itself (this view looks down the main drive). The ruins date to the thirteenth century, but by 1924 they were part of a barn. This was preserved until after the war (as shown on OS maps), but today's layout seems to show an entirely different building on the same site. The nave was a small rectangle while there seems to have been no tower.

South Standen Chapel, Hungerford, Berkshire

South Standen Chapel stood within the grounds of Standen Manor, accessed via a private drive on the western side of the A338 (as shown here), about two kilometres south of Hungerford. It was dedicated to St Faith and was granted about 1165 by Henry Hussey to Dureford Abbey. In 1450 the chapel survived in use, and was probably rebuilt by Sir Reynold Bray. By 1806 it had been converted into a pigeon house and was pulled down soon after the estate was sold on.

Two photos on this page by P L Kessler, and two kindly contributed by Hungerford Virtual Museum.

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