The Exterior

The style is a free adaptation of early-Gothic (with touches of contemporary art-nouveau), and Mitchell insisted that no expense be spared in the construction of the building or its ornamentation: he undertook to pay for everything right down to the hymn books.

church towerThe exterior is deliberately severe (the better to contrast with the splendours within) but the fine tower, a bold interpretation of the campanile of St Mark's, Venice (which Spence had visited), symbolises the restrained magnificence of this building. The visitor is encouraged to observe the superb carvings below the arcade. The tower is 154 feet high, and was originally topped by a thirty foot iron cross which unfortunately became dangerous and was replaced in the 1960s by a shorter alloy version. The tower is situated at the south-east corner of the building, and is deliberately aligned on the long straight axis of Osborne Road, and projects well above the surrounding trees. The tower of St George's Church is a well known landmark, visible for many miles around Newcastle. At Christmas and other times the arcade is illuminated from within.

Mitchell provided a ring of eight bells. They were re-hung in 1992 and the tenor was re-cast.

Old Vicarage floodedMitchell also provided a large Vicarage, Parish Hall and Verger's Cottage. The Vicarage however, badly affected by the many underground streams found in this part of Newcastle, was demolished and a modern house built in 1969. Inside the entrance to the church is a picture showing the church with the old Vicarage. Mitchell only provided funds for the parish hall, but paid for the vicarage in full. The extension of the hall was paid for by Lord Armstrong as ‘reparations’, following a dispute between Mitchell and Pennefather, acting together for the parish, and the agent Frank West Rich (architect) for Armstrong’s Jesmond estate immediately adjacent to the east.

In 1938 a new Verger's House was built to commemorate the ministry of Canon Alfred Boot and to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the consecration of the church.

The fine ironwork which once surrounded the site has now gone, but the gates at the main Church entrance, designed by Spence, and executed by a young London artistcraftsman Alfred J. Shirley (who did the majority of the wrought metalwork at St George’s) give all visitors an idea of the quality of workmanship and design used in St George's. The gates bear the legend Do all to the glory of God; Spence must have had this exhortation in mind when he designed this lovely building.

Calvary in Garden of Remebrance

The Green, in front of the church, was bought from Mitchell following an appeal for funds so that it might be preserved as an open space. This foresight is greatly appreciated today in this densely developed suburb and makes it possible to admire the beauty of the church without obstruction.

 

Garden of Remembrance

In 1968 the land between the west end of the church and the Vicarage garden (also that on the north side of the church) was consecrated for the burial of ashes. It was enclosed by means of a stone wall surmounted by iron railings; a Calvary, to the design of William Evetts, was erected on the north side.