St Mary's Church, Castle Street, Reading

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St Mary's Church, Castle Street

St Mary's Church, Castle Street
St Mary's Church, Castle Street is located in Reading Central
St Mary's Church, Castle Street
St Mary's Church, Castle Street
Location within Reading Town Centre
51°27′13.59″N 0°58′29.32″W / 51.4537750°N 0.9748111°W / 51.4537750; -0.9748111Coordinates: 51°27′13.59″N 0°58′29.32″W / 51.4537750°N 0.9748111°W / 51.4537750; -0.9748111
Location Reading
Country England
Denomination Episcopalian
History
Founded 1798
Dedication St Mary
Architecture
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade II*
Style Corinthian
Administration
Archdeaconry Berkshire
Diocese Oxford

St Mary's Church, Castle Street is an Anglican church in the town centre of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. It should not be mistaken for the rather similarly named but much older Minster Church of St Mary the Virgin, which is only a few yards away.

St Mary's Church, Castle Street in 1890 by Henry Taunt

In 1798, there was a disagreement between the Bishop and the congregation of St Giles' Church in nearby Southampton Street. Many of the congregation left and founded a new chapel in Castle Street, on the site of Reading's old gaol. This chapel eventually became the Church of St Mary, Castle Street.[1]

The church is a Grade II* listed building. The original 1798 building was a simple Georgian building, but in 1840 the present hexastyle portico in Corinthian style was added by local architect and builder Henry Briant. The frontage is rendered in stucco while the capitals of the portico are probably formed of Coade stone.[2]

The church has one of Reading's best church interiors, with a late 18th century gallery in 5 bays with marbled Doric ground floor and Ionic gallery columns. There is a modillion cornice to the coved central ceiling and a small projecting chancel with a bay for the mid 19th century organ. The instrument, by Vowles of Bristol, is dated 1870, and was moved to St Mary's from Bristol in 1987. The church used to be lit by two mid 19th century cast iron chandeliers.[2]

Today the church forms part of the Church of England (Continuing), a group of Anglican congregations outside the Church of England.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "St Mary’s Castle Street". Reading History Trail. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Images of England - Church of St Mary, Castle Street, Reading". English Heritage. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  3. ^ "Congregations". Church of England (Continuing). Retrieved 2012-01-10. 

External links[edit]