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North Shields, Jackson Street, Church of St. Augustin
Religious Ritual and Funerary
Designed by renowned Scottish architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson. It was originally intended to be a replica of St. Andrew's Episcopalian Church in Fife, but in the end its design was modified to suit the site and details were more attuned to an English taste (e.g. lighter buttresses). St. Augustin's is an extremely rare example of this architect's work in England. In 1877 the parish of North Shields was created. Captain Linskill of Tynemouth Lodge donated a site for a new parish church. The foundation stone was laid in September 1881 by the Rt. Hon. The Earl Percy MP. It was opened in June 1884 by the Bishop of Newcastle. Due to a shortage of funds, the church was incomplete and consisted only of an aisled nave. In 1878 the pulpit from St. Nicholas's Cathedral in Newcastle was presented to the church and in 1885, an organ by Foster and Andrews of Hull from Christ Church, Sunderland was installed. The chancel and organ chamber were completed in 1888. During the First World War the organ screen, choir stalls, chancel floor and oak entrance porch were added. It is Early English Gothic in style and uses alternating short buttresses with a variety of window forms to the nave and aisles. Squared coursed sandstone with ashlar dressings. The later vestry is of uncoursed square sandstone with ashlar corner piers. Westmorland slate roof with red terracotta ridge tiles and cast iron rainwater goods. The two storey vestry was added in 1954. The quality of the exterior is matched by the interior. The tall nave has exposed brick walls, which contrast with the yellow sandstone ashlar dressings of the arcade and clerestory. There are alternating octagonal and circular columns. Good quality materials are used throughout - marble flooring, marble steps to the chancel, ornate metal chancel screen and altar rail. The carved oak altar, choir pews, pulpit and screen are of good quality. The organ has decorative pipes. There are pitch pine benches. Anderson also designed the font of 1885, which is well detailed and has an intricate design crisply carved in the stone. The stained glass in the east window is by Martin Travers. It is a memorial to the Fallen of the First World War. Travers is considered to be one of the most distinguished church furnishers and stained glass painters of C20. Two windows in the south aisle, dating to the early 1930s, are by Reed Millican & Co. of Newcastle. The Lady Chapel and its oak reredos were designed by the vicar Thomas Douglas and installed in 1937. St. Augustin's Church is externally intact and retains a largely intact interior complete with many original good quality fixtures and fittings. Toilets and a kitchen have been inserted in the north aisle, and a kitchen and Sunday school room in the south aisle, but this work (1999) has caused minimal disturbance to historic fabric and does not detract from the overall quality of the church interior.
English Heritage, 27 March 2012, Advice Report; R. Gair, 2010, St. Augustin's Church