Kingston Old Church

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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 very ancient chapel, which stood
in this place, being much decayed,

the building of which was
completed at the sole expense

The Revd. EDWARD BANKES,    Rector

Joseph Willis
William Parmiter         Churchwardens
Robert Taylor




2008: Appeal for new house thrown out

A planning inspector has thrown out an appeal for a new house to be built in the grounds of a listed former church in the hilltop hamlet of Kingston near Corfe Castle.

When the plan came before the council architect Barry Chapman told councillors: “The proposed new house is intended for my eldest son, Jody, who has lived all of his life in the village of Kingston, and his fiancée, who without this proposal would have no prospect of purchasing a property on Purbeck.”

Mr Chapman won permission for the church to be converted into a house some 30 years ago. He urged councillors to back the application to demonstrate wholehearted commitment to encouraging young people being able to get homes in their local communities.

Councillors went to see the site in June 2007 and then backed their planners with a refusal.

Appeal inspector Olivia Spencer says the former church sits slightly outside the main group of properties and forms a part of the conservation area with its own distinctive character.

The new architect-designed two-storey house would be below the level of the church and have little impact on the street scene. However it would be clearly seen from a footpath and from another view would be the only village building to be seen.

She thought: “The resulting apparent extension of development would disrupt its green setting and that of the church.”

A minimal number of trees were proposed to be removed to make way for the new house.

However the inspector thought the small windows proposed on its southern side would lead to a gloomy interior which could lead future residents to press for the removal of more trees.

Published in Bournemouth Daily Echo, Saturday 20 September 2008