Situated on Peartree Green, Jesus Chapel is also known as Peartree Church or St Mary Extra Church. It was built in 1618 and consecrated in 1620 and was the first church in England to be consecrated after the Reformation. It was originally built as a chapel of ease for the trans-Itchen districts of St Mary's Church in Southampton, hence the name St Mary Extra. The parish of St Mary Extra embraced all the districts south of Bitterne Road, including Chessel, Merry Oak, Peartree Green and Itchen with Woolston, Weston and Sholing Common, but excluding Sholing.
The original church was a very simple rectangle (image 3). The south transept and porch were added in 1822, the north aisle was built in 1866 and other alterations were undertaken in 1883 and 1915. The church was described by Philip Brannon in 1849 (image 1): “Jesus Chapel consists of a sort of double body separated by two clustered columns and arches, with a wing or small chapel at one side: some of the windows are curiously cusped, and nearly all filled-up with painted glass. There are several monuments, one by Westmacott is very good, and there are two others by Chantrey. It is beautifully embowered by ancient oak and yew”.
It is Grade II* listed.
Picture of Southampton (1849), by Philip Brannon, p46 (HS/h)
Churches in and Around Southampton, by Cuthbert Monk, p62-64. (HS/j)
Buildings of England: Hampshire and the I.O.W., by Nikolaus Pevsner and David Lloyd p582-3. (H/i)
Southampton’s Historic Buildings, by R. J. Coles, p12. (HS/k)
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