©  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: March 06, 2016.
Webpage updated: March 06, 2016

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The Lady Chapel and the Rectory

The Stoke Damerel Parish Church Lady Chapel and Rectory.
From Ordnance Survey sheet CXXIII.7 surveyed in 1912.

A proposal was made to erect a new parish church for Stoke Damerel that would be more appropriate in size and stature for the principal port of the county of Devon and the eminent architect, Mr William Douglas Caröe (1857-1938) was invited to design it and a new rectory.  The work was to be carried out in four sections, the first to include a morning chapel and vestry at a cost of £4,000.

After lunching in the school-room of the Church, on Saturday November 29th 1902, in pouring rain, the Rector, the Reverend S Gordon Ponsonby, led the Bishop of Exeter, Doctor Ryle, and guests to the Great Sanctuary Field for the laying of the foundation stone.  The field had been covered with wooden planking to avoid the mud created by the incessant rain but there was little overhead shelter. 

The foundation stone was inscribed "To the glory of God this stone was laid on Saint Andrew's eve in the year 1902, being the year of the Coronation of King Edward VII, by Herbert Edward, Lord Bishop of Exeter".  The Bishop was presented with a silver trowel by the clergy and churchwardens of Stoke Damerel; and the contractor presented him with a handsome mallet, adorned with his Lordship's coat of arms.

Among the notable guests were the Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Devonport, Mr & Mrs J C Tozer, and the Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Plymouth, Mr & Mrs H Hurrell.

However, apart from a new Rectory the rest of the proposed building was not carried through and what was completed was named the Lady Chapel instead.  It fell into disuse as it was some way from the old church and eventually became a boys' club.  The former Lady Chapel was finally demolished in 1967.