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1831.]

St. Peter's Church, Hammersmith.

NEW CHURCHES.-No. XXIX. ST. PETER'S CHURCH, HAMMERSMITH. Architect, Lapidge.

IN continuation of our series of views of the new Churches in the metropolis and its vicinity, we this month lay before our readers as the first subject in the accompanying engraving (see Plate I.) a north-west view of this building. It will be seen that the architect has adopted the Grecian style in his design. The plan is a parallelogram, with a tower and lobbies at the western end. The superstructure is built of Suffolk brick, with Bath stone dressings. The tower is entirely of stone,

The west front consists of a tetrastyle portico of the Grecian Ionic order, surmounted with a pediment, the columns being fluted. The intercolumniations are solid, the central being wider than the lateral ones, and containing the principal entrance, which is surmounted by a pediment resting on trusses, over which is a sunk panel. In each of the flanks is a lintelled doorway, with a circular window over it. Above the portico the elevation is carried on, in an attic, supported at the flanks with trusses, and relieved by a break in the centre, and pilasters at the ends; above the centre of the attic rises the tower, which commences with an octagonal pedestal, having unequal faces; in the four larger ones, which correspond with the different fronts of the main erection, are circular apertures for dials. The succeeding portion of the design is cylindrical, being broken at equal intervals by four antæ, which rise from above the smaller faces of the octagon basement, between which are arched windows; the whole is crowned with an entablature and blocking course, the latter broken by circular headed blocks placed over the antæ. The finish of the structure is a graduated cupola, consisting of three steps, the highest sustaining a gilt cross. The portico being of less width than the body of the Church, the western wall forms a small wing at each side, to which the entablature and blocking-course, continued from the portico, constitute a crowning member. The flanks are uniform, The face of the wall is made by breaks into a central and lateral division, and is

GENT. MAG. February, 1831.

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crowned with the entablature and blocking course as before. The archi trave and frieze are brick; the mouldings and cornice only being of stone. Each flank has five semicircular arched windows enclosed in architraves of stone. The east end is plain, the face of the wall relieved with breaks; it has a segment arched window in the centre, and also two doors, used as subordinate entrances to the Church. The elevation is finished with the continued entablature, and above the centre is an attic flanked with trusses, corresponding with the principal front. The roof is slated.

THE INTERIOR

is approached by three lobbies in the portico; the central is the basement story of the tower, and forms a porch to the principal entrance; the others contain stairs to the galleries. The body of the Church is not divided into nave and ailes, but presents an unbroken area; it has consequently no striking architectural features. The walls are finished with an architrave; and the ceiling, which is horizontal, is panelled by flying cornices into compartments, in four ranges longitudinally, and three in breadth. Each of the central compartments are subdivided into a large square and two narrow oblong panels, the first containing expanded flowers. A gallery occupies the west end and the two sides of the Church; it is sustained on Doric columns unfluted; the front is composed of an entablature and attic. The altar-screen, situated against the eastern wall, is painted in imitation of veined marble. It has a large panel in the centre, inscribed with the decalogue; and in side panels are the creed and paternoster. The whole is surmounted by an entablature, the frieze charged with flowers, and an attic, the several mouldings being continued from the galleries: over the side divisions are pediments with acroteria. The pulpit and reading-desk, in

obedience to the Commissioners' directions, but in direct opposition to authority and propriety, are alike; they are varnished in imitation of oak, octagonal in plan, and sustained on pillars of the same form. The organ is placed in the centre of the western portion of the gallery. The case is oak, and ornamented with two Ionic columns and two antæ, crowned with

106

St. John's Chapel, Bethnal Green.

an entablature, with a pediment and acroteria over the centre. The font, situated beneath the west gallery, is a shallow vase of a circular form, designed from the antique, and sustained on a cylindrical pedestal.

Taken as a whole, this Church presents a very fair specimen of modern Grecian architecture. The tower has considerable merit. The design is novel and pleasing, and the proportions are harmonious. The interior is however chaste and formal, displaying even a presbyterian nakedness, the dullness of which is increased by the purple furniture of the altar. The best Church which may be designed in this style, only proves the difficulty of appropriating Grecian architecture to such buildings; its coldness may suit the heartless school of the philosopher, but it chills the fervour of the devotion of the Christian.

This Church will accommodate 1001 persons in pews, and 690 in free seats, making a total of 1691. The amount of the contract was 12,2231. 88. 4d. The site was given by George Scott, Esq. The first stone was laid on the 16th May, 1827, and the Church was consecrated on the 15th of October, 1829. The Bishop of London preached on the occasion.

ST. JOHN'S CHAPEL, BETHNAL GREEN. Architect, Soane.

The second subject in the same engraving is a view of this Chapel, taken from the south-west.

The plan is divided into nave and ailes, with vestries at the east end, and a tower and lobbies at the opposite extremity. The spaciousness of the building is its most distinguishing feature; there is little to admire either in its architecture or decorations, and it is moreover nearly a copy of the Walworth Church, built by the same architect (described in vol. xcvi. pt. ii. p. 201). It is lamentable to see a man of acknowledged talent and genius, eminent in his profession, and distinguished by his admiration of the fine arts, building church after church from one and the same design, as if he were unable to produce the least variety. It is true that the works of Mr. Soane are not the only ones to which this remark applies, but the frequency of the defect is no palliation of it. It might be fairly inferred, from the monotony so striking in the works of

[Feb.

our leading architects, that an utter dearth of talent and genius alone distinguished the professors of this branch of the fine arts. In the course of our criticisms on the new Churches, we have not hesitated to point out this glaringly tasteless practice; and our plates show that the charge is not unfounded; but from Mr. Soane we augured better things, and therefore it is with regret that we are compelled to record our disappointment.

The west front differs from Walworth in the absence of the portico, the place of which is supplied by four unsightly antæ, placed at unequal distances. In the central interval, which is the widest, is a door covered with a pediment, resting on consoles; and in the smaller intervals are subordinate entrances. Each of the wings or lateral subdivisions of the front, has a large arched window, divided into two heights, the lower being inclosed in a stone panel. The elevation is finished by a cornice, over which is a blocking course, and above the centre an attic, the cornice of which, as well as the main building, is ornamented at the angles, or rather defaced, by those nondescript blocks of stone, with handles, which are to be found in all the works of this architect. Above the attic rises the tower, and how shall we describe appropriately this monstrous excrescence? It assimilates with no Church tower we have ever seen, and more resembles the castles which figure on the backs of elephants in public-house signs. This tower is in two stories; the first is square in plan, and has in each face an arched window, with a circular aperture, surrounded with a wreath over it to contain a dial. At each of the angles are two heavy insulated square antæ, one placed behind the other, the front ones appearing a continuation of those attached to the main structure. These appendages are capped with the architect's favourite blocks, and appear to be designed to give an useless and inadequate breadth to the side view of the tower, and are peculiarly unsightly in this point of view, from whence our view is taken. The finish to this ponderous basement is so diminutive, in comparison with the substructure, and so devoid of elevation, as to form a "most lame and impotent conclusion" to the dwarfish structure. This portion consists of a small circular plinth,

1881.]

St. John's Chapel, Bethnal Green.

ornamented with horizontal lines, or French rustics, crowned with a cornice, and surmounted by a bald conical cupola, much resembling a bee-hive, and terminated, as usual in Mr. Soane's designs, with a huge weathercock instead of a cross. The wall of the circular plinth is pierced with four arched windows, and the cupola with four others.

The flanks are divided by antæ into eight compartments, each containing windows assimilating with those in the lateral divisions of the west front. All the antæ, except those nearest to each extremity, are brick; the others are stone, and are terminated by the blocks. The east end is in three portions; the centre contains three arched windows, and is surmounted by an attic, over the centre of which is an acroterium, crowned with a pediment and acroteria; below the windows are stairs descending to the catacombs. The side divisions have attached vestries projecting from the main building; the elevation of which is finished with a pediment and acroteria.

THE INTERIOR

is still more nearly a copy of Walworth, and is in a better taste than the outside, in consequence of the orthodox arrangement of nave and ailes having been adhered to.

It may be described as divided in length into eight divisions; the first is occupied by a vestibule extending along the whole of the west front, and which is subdivided into three porches, communicating laterally with each other, and to the body of the Chapel, by an equal number of entrances. Over the central entrance the arms of his present Majesty have recently been erected, with the date 1830, and the names of the Churchwardens subscribed; the remaining seven divisions are within the body. The first at each extremity is parted from the rest by two parallel arches, crossing the body of the Church in a

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transverse direction. The arches are formed of a segment of a circle, and the spandrils are pierced with circles, having beaded edges. The side aisles are covered by circular arches; the division towards the west is appropriated to galleries, and that at the east to a chancel; the remaining divisions are made by colonnades of unfluted Doric columns of the Greek variety, ranging longitudinally, and making a nave and side ailes; they are surmounted by an architrave and cornice, on which is an arcade of semicircular arches, equal in number to the intercolumniations below. The piers are slender and octangular; the arches spring immediately from them, without imposts. The ceiling is horizontal, and the nave is somewhat higher than the other parts, and is made by reeds into square panels. The chancel and ailes have sunken panels equal to their respective breadths. A gallery at the west end contains the organ in a mahogany case. The front of the gallery is panelled, and ornamented with consoles. In one of the panels is inscribed "This Chapel was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of London, on the 16th October, 1828.” Another records the erection of the organ in 1829. In addition to this gallery there are others in the side

ailes.

The altar screen is composed of three divisions, a centre and projecting wings. The latter are covered with pediments, to which cherubs are applied by way of acroteria. The central division is also covered with a pediment, which embraces the other two; in the tympanum of the latter a dove. The altar table is mean and uncovered.

The pulpit and desk, placed at a short distance from the altar-rails, are alike in design and dimensions; they are hexagonal, and sustained on a single pillar, which expands to the size of the pulpit. Each angle is worked into a triple reeded column, with Doric caps.

*

A Correspondent, A. W. speaking of this Chapel, says, "the usual positions of the reading-desk and pulpit are reversed. Prayers are certainly not there read at the north side of the communion-table, but at the south; it is impossible to discover the reason of this anomaly. The pulpit and reading-desk are precisely similar in construction, and it is to be regretted that the present exemplary Bishop of London, who prevented the Church being dedicated to St. George, because his name was not to be found in the Scriptures, should not also have interfered to prevent the deviation from established practice, and I believe even from the Rubric, in this respect also."-In the numerous Churches in the metropolis, no certain rule seems to have been observed in the choice of the situation of the pulpit and desk. At St. Mary-le-Bow, a high authority as I should conceive, the whole are grouped on the south side. At St. Saviour's, Southwark, before the alterations, they were

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Population of Great Britain.

The interior, as we remarked in the outset, is far superior to the outside of the building; and it is but just and fair to the architect to observe, that the same praise is due to the structure which we awarded to Walworth Church, for the essential qualities of light and distinctness of hearing, both of which it enjoys to a degree beyond many Churches of recent construction. A large proportion of the centre of the Church is appropriated to the poor, and it is pleasing to add that a numerous attendance of this class of the congregation forms the strongest evidence of the necessity, as well as the utility of the erection of additional Churches. No surer antidote to the depravity which is too apparent in this parish, can be afforded, than the celebration of divine worship, according to the doctrines and forms of our esteemed Establishment. Every new Church that is opened, affords an additional proof that a strong attachment to the Establishment exists among all classes, and that if Churches are provided they will be attended, notwithstanding the abuse of the numerous enemies of the Church, who, feeling conscious that their own elevation can only be built on the ruin of the Church, strain every nerve, and use every expedient to effect this, the ultimate and only object of dissent and schism.

This Chapel contains 800 'in pews, and 1200 in free seats. The contract amounted to 17,6387. 188. including incidental expenses and architect's commission. The first stone was laid on the 26th June, 1826; and the chapel was consecrated, as before observed, on the 16th Oct. 1828. E. I. C.

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[Feb.

metrical ratio. Judging from the census taken in the year 1801, 1811, and 1821, at intervals of ten years, this estimation does not appear to accord with the fact. In 1801 the population amounted to 10,942,646; in 1811, to 12,596,803; and in 1821, to 14,391,631. The difference between the two first is 1,654,157; and the difference between the census of 1821 and 1811, is 1,794,828; and by adding these, and taking the half, the average increase is 1,724,497.5, a result militating quite against the philosopher's hypothesis. It is also confidently asserted, that food increases only in an arithmetical ratio, while there can be no accurate data for arriving at such a conclusion, as the quantum of food must depend on agricultural exertion, animal produce, and importation of corn. The increase of numbers is still greater in Ireland, and must prove a serious source of distress, if not met, ere long, by some adequate remedy. On reflection, the cultivation of the waste lands, amounting to seventeen millions of acres, would by spade husbandry by paupers, occasion a great outlay of money, without being adequately productive, for a considerable period. It would be much more eligible to sell these lunds, as the wealthy purchasers would necessarily employ a great part of the labourers out of employment in their cultivation. The capital procured by such sale would furnish a lasting fund for defraying the expense of sending to Canada, with their own free will and assent, at proper periods, certain portions of the excess of the population, who might be required to bind themselves and their heirs to repay to the native country, at least a part of the expenditure in locating them in a British colony. Voluntarily, or parochially, for obvious reasons, the requisite funds cannot be raised. As all are concerned, all must contribute, by means of the most equitable mode, a moderate property-tax; to compensate for which,

on the north side. The Rubric seems only to refer to the communion service. The Bishop of London would, I hope, have given a better reason for adopting St. John for the Chapel than A. W. assigns, for that would go to exclude St. Chrysostom and St. Athanasius from the Liturgy, and show that the installation service of the Order of the Garter was not only unscriptural, but that his brethren of Winchester and Salisbury were inconsistent in allowing this unscriptural Saint to be there styled "the blessed Martyr and Soldier in Christ." I should conceive that the Prelate's objection was rather against naming the Church after the reigning monarch, than to its having for its patron the tutelar saint of the kingdom of England, "our champion thrice renowned, St. George."

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