St. Lukes Church

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The Royal Hospital Haslar was to have been built in quadrangular form and a hospital chapel to be included in the middle of the South-West Block but rising costs forced the fourth side of the hospital to be abandoned by 1756.

St. Luke's Church was erected outside of the hospital quadrangle and most authorities date the church to 1762 although there are thoughts that it was completed in 1756 but there are no records to support this or any recorded dedication to the church.

Up until 1908 the church was divided from the hospital by a metal fence with a gate which was opened for patients and staff to attend services for one requirement of the 18th century nurse was that she regularly attended divine services.

Major General John Richardson recalls from his childhood spent at Haslar mid 19th century that services at St. Luke's were boring with the choir consisting of washerwomen and the clergy given to long homilies conducive to sleep.
Plan showing St. Lukes
St Lukes with metal fence & gate
Aerial view showing St. Lukes
 
Interior facing Altar Two general views of St. Luke's church prior to refurbishment undertaken in 1963. The painting 'The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus' by Heywood Hardy RA can be seen as part of the principle altar. The two stained glass windows on wither side of the altar were dedicated in 1910 in memory of Medical Officers who died in active service.
Interior facing Balcony
Stained Glass to left of Altar Stained Glass to right of Altar Stained Glass dedication
Stained Glass dedication
    
St Luke's Church was fully refurbished in 1964 following extensive damage to the roof timbers caused by Death Watch Beetle and the church was rededicated on the 18th October by the Bishop of Portsmouth.
The window on the left of the sanctuary (Jesus healing the Sick) was installed in 1911 in memoriam of RN and RM Personnel who died in the Naval Hospital. The opposite window (Jesus preaching from the ship) was put in place in 1916 for the same purpose.
The altar rail was re-constructed from Georgian stair rail taken from 'D' Block at the time of refurbishment in 1970.
The baldachino (canopy) was erected in 1920 as a war memorial for the 1914-18 conflict and was designed by Sir Charles Nicholson.
Refurbished view
Refurbished view
Large Stained Glass to left of Altar Large Stained Glass to left of Altar Stained Glass to left of Altar Stained Glass to left of Altar
    
St. Luke's - early 20th century An early 20th Century photograph showing St' Luke's Church with ivy clad walls. The clock, a primitive 'bird cage type' was made by Colley of London and the turret added in 1762. The clock has two trains one for the main drive and a second for the hourly strike and quarter strike.
A view of St. Luke's Church and the hospital grounds taken early 20th Century. The view of the church was lost on the building of the Crosslink in 1981. An idea can be gained from this picture of the openess of the Haslar grounds which was a colourful picture in the spring and summer months.
St. Luke's on Admirals' Walk
St. Luke's - with bell in view St. Luke's Church with the bell from the Danish Battleship Christian VII taken from the Danes in the battle of Copenhagen in 1807. The ship became a Lazaretto in British service and was broken up in 1837.
The tablet above the main entrance reads 'In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me' (Matt. 25:40) MDCCLXII (1762).
St. Luke's Church
 
The Haslar Cross was presented by the Haslar Heritage Group in 2011 in memory of all those who served at Royal Naval Hospital Haslar. Here Maurice and Sylvia Bell admire the new Haslar Cross. Sylvia served at Haslar in the Voluntary Aid Detachment during WWII and at 96 has many stories to tell of her time as a VAD. In Memory - The Haslar Cross Maurice & Sylvia Bell with the Haslar Cross
The oak cross arising from old Oak block signifies  the new beginning for Haslar. The old Oak block is part of a ships timber that was used in building Haslar in 1745-62 and was taken from a ceiling in the hospital during refurbishment in 1998. Ships timbers were used in the build having been taken from ships hulks broken up on the shore of Portsmouth Harbour. The timber is believed to be 15th-17th Century.  The front plaque states 'Haslar Cross' In memory of all who served at Haslar. The cross was made by Cdr Ken Enticknap QGM and presented to St Luke's on the day of the service.

 

Copyright on all photo's remain the property of MoD, Haslar Heritage Group, Eric Birbeck and Nicola Smith and are not to be reproduced without prior permission.
Site Design by Nicola Smith in conjunction with Ann Ryder
Background image reproduced by kind permission of John Pounds
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