History of the Church and Parish

Christ Church, Freemantle is a Victorian church which was consecrated in 1865. It was designed by the architect William White who was also responsible for St Michael and All Angels Church in Lyndhurst and St Marks Church in Woolston. The church is one of the oldest buildings in the parish of Freemantle, mainly because it came into being in response to Freemantle being created. Until the 1850s the area was part of a large privately owned estate. When the estate was sold and broken up a large number of houses were built and the population grew. Miss Charlotte Hewett, sister of the previous owner of the land, was responsible for starting off the appeal for money to establish a place of worship in the area and the first services were held in a temporary building in 1856.

Click here to read our latest Church and Parish History, which was written in 2006.

Plan of Christ Church, 1865

(click for larger image)

If you have any further queries about the history of the church or parish, the following links may be useful:

List of Rectors of Freemantle

Article on architect William White

Freemantle and The Titanic

Photographs of Freemantle - Old postcards, photographs etc of the parish.

T. Sibley - English & Foreign Fruits

Portcities - Southampton excellent site with a growing collection of historic street directories, information and pictures including the Freemantle Historic Buildings survey.

Or, you can email the webmaster at the site (christchurch.freemantle@gmail.com), and we will be happy to advise you.

Another great site for pictures and memories of Freemantle is the Freemantle Local History Facebook Group.

Family History

If you need to research Freemantle Baptism, Marriage or Funeral records, you can find them in the following places:

Freemantle transcriptions and records

Christ Church, Freemantle - First World War Memorial




Southampton Archive, Civic Centre - the original church registers are kept here (1856-1990s), you can either look at the original registers, or search through microfiche or record cards. The Archive also has a large collection of Freemantle related photographs, booklets, and records.
Southampton Archives
Email: city.archives@southampton.gov.uk

Southampton Central Library - Local Studies Collection

Microfilm copies of the original registers can be viewed here. They also have a large collection of maps and Directories which are very useful when researching your family or local history.

Southampton Library Local Studies Collection
Email: local.studies@southampton.gov.uk

If you need to look at more recent registers (circa post 1990), please contact us and we can arrange a search or arrange a time for you to come to the church.


1855-1871 Revd. Abraham Sedgwick

1871-1892 Revd. John D'Arcy Warcop Preston

1892-1902 Revd. Thomas Wilson Fair

1902-1915 Revd. Frederick Gilbert Gardiner Jellicoe

1915-1929 Revd. Charles Collis

1929-1935 Revd. George Uppington

1935-1944 Revd. Frederick Giles Reeves

1944-1951 Revd. William Arthur Henville Barnes

1951-1957 Revd. Edgar Dowse

1957-1969 Revd. Henry Raymond Charles Spittle

1970-1978 Revd. Bryan Gerald Apps (Priest in Charge 1970-1972, Rector 1973-1978)

1978-1987 Revd. Michael Nelson Fullagar

1988-1990 Revd. Ian Harry Firmstone

1991-1996 Revd. Canon Ronald George Diss

1997-2005 Revd. Nigel John Coates (Priest in Charge 1997-2000, Rector 2000-2005)

2006-2014 Revd. Brian Leslie Cox (Priest in Charge 2006-2009, Rector 2009-2014)