Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1333198.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 07-Aug-2020 at 05:10:07.


Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

City of Portsmouth (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SZ 63232 99381



SZ6399 HIGH STREET 774-1/12/47 (North West side) 10/01/53 Cathedral Church of St Thomas


Chapel of Austin Priory, parish church from 1320 and cathedral from 1927. Chapel founded c1180 for Jean de Gisors. Choir probably c1180-90, transepts c1190-1220; old cathedral tower and nave taken down and replaced by new aisled nave and west tower 1683-93 the latter with cupola of 1703; C18 and C19 alterations and restoration work; additions 1935-39 by Sir Charles Nicholson, and 1990-91 (west extension) by Michael Drury of Winchester. Coursed rubble stone with ashlar dressings, coursed squared stone and ashlar. Plain tile roofs. STYLE: Transitional, Early English, Classical and Byzantine. PLAN: 4-bay aisled nave with clerestory, 2-stage west tower and transepts at east end containing chapels; extended 1930s by addition of 3 bays to west, secondary aisles with south porch and north cloister court; west entrance bay 1990-91. 4-bay aisled choir with south vestry. EXTERIOR: quoins; buttresses some with offsets; pointed-arched openings to earlier parts some with hoodmoulds; parapets, some corbelled, with roll-moulded coping. Tower has clock to upper stage on south side; parapet with corner merlins; 2-stage octagonal cupola having angle pilasters, louvred sides, sheet metal domes with small round-arched lights to lower dome, and spire finial with weather vane in form of ship (1954 replacement of the original). Nave has 2 tiers of hipped roofed dormers (C18 in origin). Cusped windows to north transept. To east end, stepped tripled windows with blocked roundel over and cross finial. To west end, central round-arched entrance with 6 round-arched windows over and flanking towers. North cloister court in C16/C17 style. INTERIOR: C12 work survives particularly well as choir which has unusual feature of painted-arched arcades set within larger round arches, having octagonal piers and clustered responds with engaged shafts (some of replacement marble); blind arcades to outer walls; altar recess with plain stone altar, flanking niches, and windows above having engaged shafts supporting arches; quadripartite vaults; pointed arch on clustered columns to nave. Transepts have collared queen strut roof trusses with butt purlins and straight wind braces. Nave has tall, late C17, round-arched arcades and richly decorated modillion cornice. MONUMENTS: notable monuments include the fine series of C17,

C18, and early C19 wall memorials which have coats of arms, cherubs, urns, and skulls; of particular note are those in tower: i) to Sir Charles Blount, d.1600; having tablet in classical architrave with trophies of war below and armoured male figure kneeling at altar above: ii) in choir south aisle, to George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, assassinated in Portsmouth 1628, possibly by Nicholas Stone and having tablet flanked by trumpeter and figure holding laurel wreath, eagle on urn in classical architrave with side-panels depicting trophies of war, and coat of arms and trumpeting cherubs above all. Various C18 floor tablets, and other memorials. FITTINGS: amongst the woodwork of particular note is the 1693 hexagonal, highly-decorated, panelled pulpit on slender column having turned balusters to stairs up, and 2 fluted columns with Composite capitals supporting sounding board which is a 1904 replica of the original and has egg-and-dart cornice, collared soffit carved with flowers and ogee cap supporting trumpeting angel; late C17 reused panelling in nave piers, and corporation pew with royal coat of arms of 1695 over mayor's seat; panelled bowed gallery, 1706, extended 1750; restored organ case, the original of 1718 by Abraham Jordan Junior, which has a central figure of David and cherubs, possibly by Francis Bird. Paintwork includes a mid-C13 wall painting of Christ seated in judgment, set in vessica in north transept. Other features of interest include: 4 old banners in north aisle, and in south aisle fragments of Lord Nelson's HMS Victory Ensign Flag; octagonal early C16 font having octagonal column and shields carved on sides; in north aisle of C20 nave extension, original weather vane, a golden barque with pennant dated 1710; imported Della Robbia majolica of Madonna and child; C19 and C20 glass. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N & Lloyd DW: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight: Harmondsworth: 1967-: 393-407; English Life Publications Ltd.: Rev Knowles G: Portsmouth Cathedral: Derby: 1985-).

Listing NGR: SZ6322399386


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, (1967), 393-407
Knowles, Rev G, 'English Life Publications Limited' in Portsmouth Cathedral, (1985)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 25 May 2001
Reference: IOE01/04338/36
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Paul Shutt. Source Historic England Archive
Archive image, may not represent current condition of site.
To view this image please use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].