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The architect of this very notable building was George Edmund Street, about whom something should be said. As a young man, he was for five years assistant to Sir George Scott, and as such designed a number of churches, being Honorary Diocesan Architect to the Diocese of Oxford at the age of twenty-six.
For thirty years and more he was one of the leading church architects of his day, gaining the gold medal of the R.I.B.A., and becoming Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy. He was an enthusiast for the Gothic style, as exemplified in his design for the Law Courts in the Strand. The Dictionary of National Biography says of him – “. . . one of Street’s favourite designs was that of Kingston church, Dorset: it is a cruciform building, with an apse, central tower and narthex, built throughout of Purbeck stone, with shafts of purbeck marble . . . the mouldings are rich, and owing to the character of the material, the building has a model-like perfection . . .”.
The stone and marble was all quarried and worked on the Encombe estate, and the timber was brought from Lord Eldon’s Gloucestershire property. The work of construction was carried out largely by men of the estate, without the aid of contractors.
Page last updated: 19 March 2021