Richard Knill Freeman

Bolton architect

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Buildings Buildings by type Churches - new St John, San Remo

St John, San Remo

Built 1900; destroyed in second world war

Freeman’s brother was a doctor in San Remo and Freeman designed a house for him in 1889 and this connection may explain how he came to design a church there. The Builder of November 3 1900 described the church:

“The rebuilding of St. John Baptist’s Church, San Remo, is now in progress, the former church having been destroyed by fire last year. The new church is being erected on a site, the position of which is considered more suitable than the old one. Heating chamber and mortuary are provided in the basement. The work has been let to local contractors, Messrs. Sappi & Vernassa, and local materials will as far as possible be used. The stone for the dressings is blue, from Bordighera, and Millesimo stone, and the walling of mixed blue and brown coursed wallstone. The roofs will be covered with tiles of the district or approved colour, and the tower roof with English north-country green slates.

The ceilings will be wagon shaped, boarded with moulded ribs. The floors, generally, will be of wood blocks, but the chancel floor, steps, and screen walls, will be of marble.

The glazing will be with lead lights of English manufacture. The plan of the building is arranged with a nave and chancel of equal width, north and south aisles, with vestry in the south. The organ loft is in the tower, but the organist will sit with the choir. The principal entrance is by the south porch, but there are three others, one of which is specially arranged for admitting invalids in bath chairs. It is intended to use local chestnut-wood for panelling the walls, screens, and other internal finishings.

The works are being carried out from the designs and under the direction of Mr. R. Knill Freeman, architect, of Manchester and Bolton, and Signor Gastadi, of San Remo, has been appointed local superintendent of work.

The church will provide accommodation for about 275 people, and the plan is arranged with a view to future extension.

It is hoped that with favourable circumstances the new church may be ready for use next Easter.”  

The final three pictures show the war damage


The Builder, November 3 1900

Foto Moreschi, San Remo