SBC integrate the portico and frontage of the Baptist Tabernacle into a public building
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Constructed in 1886 and built to Classical proportions, with a galleried hall to seat 1,000 worshippers and a massive pulpit the Baptist Tabernacle was a statement building which brought character to our town and a focal point to Regent's Circus. The frontage was 6 huge columns supporting a pediment; in all 200 tonnes of Bath stone.
The historic Baptist Tabernacle was torn down in 1978, causing local outrage and prompting national experts such as Sir Nikolaus Pevsner and the Victorian Society to register their disapproval. The building was described by the architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as 'remarkably purely classical' and the former Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman likened it to St Martins in the Fields in London. Thankfully Councillor Roderick Bluh managed to bring the portico and frontage of this much loved and well remembered historic building back to Swindon where it belongs.
Much of Swindon's wonderful Victorian Heritage has been lost in the name of progress and in the quest for the new, leaving parts of the town featureless and without its former character. Incorporating the Portico and frontage of the Baptist Tabernacle into a public building as part of the regeneration of the town centre would be a wonderful first step towards putting the heart and character back into Swindon.
We ask that Swindon Borough Council incorporates the portico and Frontage of the Baptist Tabernacle into a public building as part of the regeneration plans for the Town Centre for the people of Swindon to enjoy once more.
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