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Since the 12th century, Kingston had been a chapelry of Corfe Castle, and a ‘chapel-of-ease’ had stood on the east side of the village, served by the Rector of Corfe Castle or his assistant.
In 1833 the first Earl of Eldon replaced the chapel, at his own charge, by the building which can still be seen on the site: it was designed by his son-in-law, George Stanley Repton (1786-1858), and largely followed the ground plan of the earlier chapel, embodying some of the old material. The first Earl and his wife are buried in the surrounding churchyard.
George Repton’s initial drawings did not include a south aspe. drawing of the old church above (circa 1844) shows the north tower and it was here that the entrance door was situated.
In January, 1922 the new church was substituted for the old one under an Instrument of the Church Commissioners. The old church was then used as the church hall for many years.
The first churchyard surrounded the old church. However, when the church building was sold c.1977 to be converted to a private residence, many of the gravestones were moved, mostly to the second churchyard on the north side of the church. Press notices were published about the removal but no relatives responded and so they were moved according to the Bishop’s directions.
The following inscription appeared on a tablet over the door entering the Old Church through the inner wall of the tower in the centre of the north wall:
the building of which was
completed at the sole expense
of JOHN SCOTT, FIRST EARL OF
ELDON, also VISCOUNT ENCOMBE,
and BARON ELDON
The Revd. EDWARD BANKES, Rector
William Parmiter Churchwardens
G S REPTON