6. BREAD STREET WARD.
Bread Street Ward comprises the parishes of
St. John the Evangelist, All Hallows, Bread Street,
St. Margaret Moses and parts of the parishes of
St. Mildred, St. Matthew Friday Street, St.
Augustine Old Change and St. Nicholas Cole
Abbey. The principal monument is the church of
St. Mildred Bread Street.
(1) Parish Church of St. Mildred stands on
the E. side of Bread Street. The walls, where
visible, are of brick except the W. front, which is
faced with Portland stone; the roofs are covered
with lead. The old church was destroyed by the
Great Fire and the existing church was built,
probably on the old foundations, by Sir Christopher
Wren in 1681–87, at a cost of £3705 13s. 6¼d.
The church is remarkable for the comparatively
unaltered state of the interior and fittings.
Architectural Description—The church is of
pure Renaissance character, and consists of a
rectangular body (59 ft. by 36½ ft.) and a tower on
the S. side attached to the church by a short
Church of St Mildred, Bread Street
Elevations—The E., N. and S. walls have each
a large window with a segmental head; the N.
window is blocked and the whole of this side
is covered by buildings. Towards the W. end of
the S. wall is a doorway with a moulded architrave
and square head. The W. front has a slightly
projecting middle bay containing a large segmental-headed window with an eared architrave, key-stone
with a carved cartouche and a cornice supported
by consoles. This cornice is continued across the
front. Below the window is a doorway with
architrave and key-stone similar to the window.
The side bays have each a simple sunk panel and
below it a round window with an architrave.
Above the cornice is a parapet surmounted by
pineapples and rising with scrolled ramps to the
higher middle bay, which is finished with a
segmental pediment and vase.
The Tower is of four stages divided by brick
bands and surmounted by a spire. The ground-stage has in the W. wall a segmental-headed
window. The second stage has in the S. and W.
walls a round-headed window. The third stage
has in the same walls a round window. The
bell-chamber has in each wall a round-headed
window with moulded architrave and key-block;
this stage is finished with a deep cornice. The
spire is of timber covered with lead and consists
of a concave base, a square lantern with pilasters
at the angles, and a rectangular louvered opening
in each face and a spire in the form of an obelisk
with four ball-ornaments at the base and a ball
and vane at the top.
Interior (Plate 77)—The church is roofed in three
bays, the narrow bay at either end being introduced
to make the middle bay a square. The middle
bay has a plaster dome of saucer-form springing
from a moulded band enriched with a deep continuous wreath of foliage, fruit and flowers; the
pendentives have each a triangular panel filled
with a large double spray of naturalistic foliage.
The end bays are covered by barrel-vaults of plaster
(Plate 80) with coffered cross-arches springing from
consoles and with plaster rosettes and palm-branches in the panels; the barrel-vaults are each
divided into seven panels, the four smallest filled
with palm-branches and the largest central panels
with enriched borders and cherub-heads; the spring
of each vault is groined back over a round wall-arch
enclosing panels of modelled plaster with cartouches,
swags, cherub-heads, etc. The cartouches have
each one quarter of the royal Stuart arms with
crests. In the S. wall of the church is a square-headed doorway opening into the tower.
Fittings—All the fittings unless otherwise described are of late 17th-century date. Bell: one
by Anthony Bartlett, 1673. Candelabra: two, of
brass with shaped and moulded standard and
modern branches, partly twisted suspension-rods
with moulded connections at intervals. Chest: In
vestry—plain iron chest, nail-studded and with
two staples in front, from St. Margaret Moses.
Communion Table and Rails. Table: with moulded
edge, twisted and carved legs, ogee-shaped rails
meeting in middle and supporting pedestal, below
front, cartouche with swags and scallop-shells.
Rails: with twisted balusters and panelled
standards, curved out on either side gate, moulded
and carved upper and moulded lower rails.
Doors: In W. doorway—panelled and in two folds;
in lobby of W. doorway, similar but with glazed
upper panels; in S. doorway, similar doors but
with architrave and frieze carved with cherub-head and scroll-work; similar doors to lobby of
S. doorway; under stairs, door of three panels;
between church and vestibule, two panelled doors
each of two folds and upper panels glazed. Font:
of white marble (Plate 12) with enriched balusterstem and round moulded bowl carved with acanthus-ornament and four cherub-heads. Cover of oak,
and of bell-shape, carved band of flowers round rim
waist carved with festoons and four scrolls, moulded
and reeded top surmounted by crown. Gallery:
across W. end of church—carried on two fluted
Ionic columns, with cornice over panelled front
with two panels carved with drapery, scroll-work,
cartouche, etc., middle panel with foliage and clockface; across church, behind columns, panelled
screen, with glazed upper panels and two round-headed doorways; staircase with square newels,
twisted balusters and straight strings. Helmet:
On S. wall—funeral-helmet of Sir Nicholas (?)
Crisp. Monuments: On N. wall—(1) to Thomas
Ball, 1679, Frances his wife, 1680, and Frances
their daughter, wife of Benjamin Williams, 1685,
marble cartouche (Plate 26) with scrolls, cherubs and
two cartouches-of-arms. On S. wall—(2) to Sir
Thomas Crisp, 1714, son of Sir Nicholas Crisp, large
rectangular tablet of marble with architrave, festoons, cornice and cartouche-of-arms; (3) to Sarah,
wife of John Coxon, 1683, marble tablet with
scrolls, cornice and shield-of-arms. Panelling:
walls wainscoted four panels high with cornicecapping. Plate (Plate 32): includes two flagons
of 1617, given by Sir Nicholas Crisp in 1631 and
with his shield-of-arms; two cups, one of 1549 and
one of 1571, two patens of the same respective
date-marks as the cups, a dish of 1684, dated 1631,
and a paten dated 1631 but remade in 1741 and with
the date-mark of that year. Poor-box: In vestibule—plain, with half-round front, square post
with high plinth and panelled and carved front.
Pulpit (Plate 78): hexagonal with inlaid panels
having carved borders, surmounted by cherub-heads and flanked by swags, enriched cornice and
base, with ogee soffit, stem with capital and base,
hexagonal sounding-board with cartouches at
the angles, and cherub-head on each face, moulded
and carved cornice, panelled soffit and panelled
supporting standard at back with scrolls at sides,
ornamental wrought-iron stay above; stairs with
carved and twisted balusters, panelled E. enclosure
with scrolled iron screen as capping. Reredos
(Plate 36): of oak, consisting of centre-piece and side
wings; the centre-piece is divided into three bays
by fluted Corinthian pilasters, with columns of the
same order on the outer sides; they support an enriched entablature stopped on either side the middle
bay and supporting a wide segmental pediment
capped with two pedestals with flaming urns and
small vases at ends; a third urn is now on the W.
gallery; the middle bay has two round-headed
panels containing the Decalogue and a round panel
painted with the holy name and clouds with
cherubs; the side bays have round-headed panels
with paintings of Moses and Aaron and carved
foliage above the panels; the main cornice is
continued over the side wings which have richly
carved panels, with eagles, and painted with the
Creed and Lord's prayer; above each panel are
cartouches and carved swags. Royal Arms: In
recess of blocked N. window—Stuart achievement,
of plaster, with the initials C.R. painted and gilt.
Seating: church fitted with original pews of raised
panelling, middle block of pews slightly re-arranged,
churchwardens' pews at back with additional
carved frieze panels to increase the height, also
clerk's pew, W. of pulpit, with raised desk on
carved cornice. Table of Benefactors: On N. wall,
tablet of black marble with white marble architrave, pediment and scrolls, dated 1684. Weather-vane: with shield of the arms of Crisp, letters
M.B. and crown. Miscellanea: On middle pews
of church, carved lion and unicorn, probably
marking former division between nave and chancel.
(2) Cordwainers' Hall, in the parish of St.
Margaret Moses and on the N. of Cannon Street,
is a modern building. Outside the livery hall are
two tables of benefactors in carved frames, and in
the corridor two carved wood escutcheons bearing
arms of the city and company and a larger escutcheon of the company's arms, all of late 17th-century date.