Old Vicarage, South Street
For years this gothicly-gloomy looking building on South Street, next door to the John Penn and Widow Smith Almshouses, has languished loveless, waiting for its moment in the sun. I’v always wondered about it, about how it came to be in such a state and what would happen to it next.
It’s the vicarage for St Paul’s church in Devonshire Road, which was never really finished, until the Seventh Day Adventists took over the remains in the 1990s and restored them (it looks as though the vicarage wasn’t part of the deal). The church was built during the big religious boom in the 1860s by one of the Teulon brothers (it’s unsure whether it’s the relatively well-known Samuel Sanders or the less-famous William Milford). It’s more clear that William Milford Teulon built the vicarage (before, surprisingly, the almshouses next door, whose style make them look much older than they are.)
I have a feeling it was always rather forbidding-looking, but certainly the spruce-up that’s going on just now is making it a hell of a lot better, revealing its brighter stock-brick colours and some of the detail that would have originally softened the building. I don’t know what it is being spruced up for (don’t even know if it’s still owned by the Church of England), but I’m assuming flats, since it was divided into apartments before. Frankly as long as it looks loved again, I’m happy to see it not bulldozed.
But I’ve had a brain-lapse. Stephen, who took these pictures, asked me what the strange monogram on the quatrefoiled panel means, and although I’m sure it’s probably obvious I just can’t think. It can’t be the architect because neither Samuel not William have the initials, in any order, HDT. It can’t be the Rev. George Blisset who’d stumped up the cash for St Pauls (as, he had for St Peters; must have been one wealthy guy) so I’m wondering if it’s either some CofE body or the initials of a biblical phrase or name in Latin.
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