Craftsmen's accounts for the building of Christ Church


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F. H. W. Sheppard (General Editor)

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'Appendix: Craftsmen's accounts for the building of Christ Church', Survey of London: volume 27: Spitalfields and Mile End New Town (1957), pp. 289-296. URL: Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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APPENDIX - Craftsmen's Accounts for the building of Christ Church

Mason's Work

The mason's work, which accounted for about half the total cost of the church, was carried out in Portland stone on the exterior, with some use of Moor stone for steps, and in Portland and Headington stone and Portland, Purbeck, Reigate and marble paving stone in the interior.

In 1717, and similarly at other times, he charged 2s. per ton for ’Carriage of Ashler Stone from the Waterside to the Church, not included in the Rates of the Contractor’: (ref. 1) his bill for 1718–19 included a charge for ’Extraordinary Land carriage’ of 583 tons of ashlar at 2s. per ton. (ref. 2) He charged 2s. 4d. extra per ton for material raised more than forty feet high, and proportionate rates for higher work.

In his enrichment of those parts of the internal cornices executed in stone he charged for ’runnings’ of carved work at rates ranging from 1s. per foot for ’Bead Carved 1½in girt’ to 2s. 8d. per foot for ’Ovolo Carved 4in girt’. He charged 6s. per foot for ’Runnings of Frett 16 In. wide and 1½ In. deep in Soffites of Arches Cut when Set’. (ref. 3)

The usual daily rate of pay of the working masons for ’day work’ was 3s.


Quantity & NumbrsPriceSumms
For 136Of Portland Scantling Block per Contract per Cubic foot0.2.15 11.8
For 8388Of Portland common Block Stone only per Contract per foot0.1.11½821.6.6
For 9958Of Heddington Block Stone only per Contract per foot0.
For 89746Of Portland Ashler Stone & Work per foot per Contract0.2.1934.16.10
For 147Of Circular Portland Ashler, Stone & Work at per Foot per Contract0.
For 4691Supl: of plain Portland workmanship per foot per Contract0.1.0234.11.0
For 458Supl: Circular plain Portland workmanship per foot per Contract0.
For 23796Supl: Strait Molded Portland Workmanship per foot per Contract0.1.4158.12.8
For 129Supl: Circular Molded Portland Workmanship only per Foot per Contract0.
For 50356Of Strait Heddington Ashler Stone & Workmanship per foot per Contr0.1.5356.13.7
For 3089Supl: circular Heddington Ashler Stone & Workmanship per Foot0.
For 454Supl: Strait Heddington Work per Foot0.
For 5146Supl: circular plain Work of Heddington Workmanship only per Foot0.0.11.9
Tons For 200½Carriage of Heddington Ashler at per Ton0.
For 1890Supl: rough Purbeck paveing Stone and Work per foot0.0.647.5.0
f. run For 1732 TonsLetting in of Chain Barr Workmanship only per foot0.0.321.13.0
For 427½Carriage of Portland Ashler at per Ton0.
NO. For 4Scrouls carved to the North and South Doors, Each at1.


24Roses carveing in the Dorrick Capitals at the East End Each at0.


No. 33Faces of Capitals of Pillasters of ye Composite Order carvd 2F: 6IN Diameter upon ye Face Each at4.0.0132.0.0
4726Running of Dentel cut in ye Portland Cornice 4In high & 3In deep at per Ft1.431.10.0
More to him
No. 4Days Work of a Mason to make a Moddell of the Second Vaulting in ye Tower at per Diem2.610.0
8Days Work of a mason in makeing a Moddell for the Vaulting of ye Church at per Diem2.61.0.0
12Days work of a Mason in making a Moddell of ye Outside of ye Tow'r at per Diem2.61.10.0
200Faggots & half a Chaldron of Coals to melt Lead for the running Cramps & Joints in ye Masonry2.0.0


12Capitals of Pillars carved after the Composite Order 2F: 6In Diameter & 2F: 61 high Each at17.0.0204.0.0
8Capitals of Half Pillars carved after the same manner & of the same size Each at8.
17Faces of Pillaster Capitals of the same Diameter & Size carved at per Face4.
173Modilions carved with a Leaf & Scroll as in the Corinthian Order10In by 5½ by 3½ Each at0.7.664.17.6
167Roses or Flowers between the Modilions carv'd 6½In Diameter 1½ Inch Embossed Each at0.
90Large Flowers carved in soffites of Arches 11 Ins Diameter 3½ In Emboss'd Each at0.
33Faces of Composite Capitals of Pillasters in the Bill of 1717 under Charged at per Face5.08.5.0


No. 10Key Stones Carved in the Arches 2F. 2In high and 8 In. Embost Each at2.
20Eyes of Scrolls Carved 2F: 2In high and 6 Inches wide Each at0.
10Key Stones Carved with Cherubs heads lF 5In high lF 4In wide and 6 In: Embost Each at1.
16Flowers Carved 3 Inches Diar and 1½ In. Embost Each at0.


4Crockets Carved 3ft: 5In by 2F: 6In Each at2.
4Do. Carved 3F by 2F.: 7In Each at2:
4Do. Carved 2' 9" by 2' 2" Each at1:
4Do. Carved 2' 6" by 1' 5" Each at1:04.0.0
4Do. Carved 2' 3" by 1 foot Each at0153.0.0
4Corinthian Leaves Carv'd 3 Ft by 1' 3" Each at155.0.0
4Do. Carved 2': 4" by 1' 6" Each at114.4.0
22 0Run' of Drapery carv'd 8 Inches girt at per Ft4.:04.8.0
18: 6Supll Carvd Flowers wth Ribbons etc. at per Ft6.05.11.0


F. In.
A Purple Marble Bason molded fluted Guthern'd & Sunk 7 In. deep 2' 5" by 1' 10”18.0.0
12:4Run' of carved Husk in portld Stone 3½ In. Girt at per Foot3:01.17.0

Bricklayers' Work

The bricklayers' contract and bills charged for brickwork above ground, one brick and a half in thickness, at £5 10s. per rod with scaffolding and £5 5s. per rod without scaffolding, the bricklayer finding all material. If the Commissioners had provided the material the rates would have been reduced to £2 5s. and £2 respectively. The contract in July 1714 provided for 'making good Mortar well tempered and beaten with Wooden Beaters, Allowing 200 Pecks of Lime and Two Loads of Fulham Sand to a Rod of Brickwork etc'. It also provided for their ’useing in the said Works good and sound bricks hard and well burnt, picking out such as are semel [samel, or badly burnt] or soft burnt Bricks, and such as are shatterd or shaken in the making or burning, which are to be laid aside and Carried out of the Works, To the End that none but hard and sound place Bricks be used in the building (except where direction shall be given to use the Grey Stock Bricks amongst them) all which sorts are to be of the best and soundest Materials.

’Also to carry up the Work, to make good Bond in all and every the Courses of Brickworke filling all the Beds and joints compleatly with Mortar and wrought and performd after the best manner. (ref. 4)

Carpenter's Work

The carpenter used oak, fir and deal in the church. Like the mason he usually charged for 'day work' by his workmen at 3s. per day.


The Floor at foot of ye Roof the Beams 12 In. Sqr of Oak the Binding Joists of good Yellow Fir 9 & 4 sqr, the Ceiling Joists 4 & 2 In. Sqr of Fir at per Sqr 4.0.0.
The Roofing the principal Rafters of Oak 10 & 8 In. Sqr at Bottom & 8 & 7 In. at Top ye Braces 7 & 6 In. Sqr King Posts wth Joggles 12 In. at Bottom & 10 & 8 In. at Top, purlines 10 and 6 In. Sqr Small Rafters 6 In. and 3 In Sqr of Oak at per Sqvr5.10.0
Flooring at foot of ye Roof over ye side Isles ye Beams 10 In. Sqr of Oak the Binding Joists of Fir 9 & 4 In Sqr ye Ceiling Joists 4 & 2 Sqr at per Sqr3.10.0
The Roofing over ye Side Isles ye principal Rafters 7 & 6 In Sqr the Small Rafters 6 & 3 In Sqr the braces 6 by 4 In. Sqr all of Oak at per Sqr4.0.0
Rough Boarding the Roof and Floor at per Sqr1.10.0
Compass Coving and Bracketing at per Sqr2.18.0
The Gallerys the Beams 9 In Sqr of Oak ye Joists 9 In. and 3 In. of Fir at per square2.15.0
Flooring of good Yellow Deals the Sap Listed off plain'd and shot and well laid at per Square1.18.0
Centers to aperture measuring the Soffites at per ft supll0.0.


Sqr Fot
38:78Roofing with Oak over the side Isles of the Church The Principal Rafters 7 by 6 Inches the small Rafter 6 by 3 Inches the King Post 7 by 6 Inches & the Braces 6 by 4 Inches at per Square4.4.0155.2.0
42: 19Naked Flooring at Foot of the said Roof with Beams of Oak 10 Inches Square & binding joists of Fir 10 by 3 Inches3.0.0126.11.6
38:78Rough Boarding the Roof with whole Deals for the Lead Covering at per Square1.
F. In
803. 0Supll: of Guttering with whole Deal laid upon Oaken Bearers at per Foot0.620.1.6
212. 6Running of Oak 10 Inches Square laid over the Columns to receive ye Plaisterers Cornice at per Foot2.122.2.8
Sqr Ft
24: 27New Coverings to the Walls at per Square17.020.12.5
15: 17Old Coverings new fitted up and laid upon the Walls at per Square6.64.18.7
Foot. In
2191. 0.Superficial Centering to Arches of Windows, Doors, & Apertures at per Foot0.31.19.0

Joiner's Work

Little of the joiner's work in the church survives. His bills include the following details of his work.


At the Altar

108Supll Waint Doric Pillars at per foot0.
229.10Supll Waint Pilasters at per Ft2.022.19.8
42.0Supll Waint Beadwk in Soffites in small panlls per ft2.04.4.0
106.0Supll Waint Cover at per foot41.15.4
5.4Supll Circular Cover at per foot0.60.2.8
15.4Supll 7½ In. Waint Glewd & fitted for the Carvd spandrels4.03.1.4
18.0Supll 6in Waint for the Flowers in ye Metophs per foot3.02.14.0
46.5Supll 2 In Waint per foot0.101.18.8
56.8Supll of the same Circular per foot1.64.5.0
7.4Supll 1½ In Waint at per foot90.5.6
92.6Supll Waint Freeze at per foot103.17.1
4.7Supll of the Sam [sic] Circular per ft1.80.7.7
230.0Supll whole Deal bracketing for the Cornice per ft65.15.0
26.7Run' Wt Cornice after the Doric Order 12 In per ft2.02.13.2
26.0Run' of Architrave & Freeze of Waint with Trigliphs & bells 2Ft: 2½Ins high at per foot8.010.8.0
26.4Run' of Dorick Capitals 7 In High1.21.10.8
16.0Run' of the Same Circular per foot2.112.6.8
2.1Run' of 8 In. Waint Impost at per foot1.40.2.9
7.0Run' of the Same Circular per foot3.41.3.4
1.9Run' of Molded Base & cap 4½ In high per ft90.1.3
7.2Run' of the same Circular per foot1.100.13.1
48.4Run' of 2½ In Astrigal per foot51.0.1
29.8Run' of the Same Circular per foot1.01.9.8
More to Gabl Appleby Joinr
A Pulpit of right Waint formed Oggee fashon the Pannells fineerd & inlaid, the framing wrought with a Quarter Round & the Pannels raised with the same, the Pulpit standing upon a Pedestal of Waint set off with Scrolls & other Ornaments the sounding Bord of Rt Wain’ finierd & inlaid supported by two revaild Pilasters with Corinthian Capitals having a Swelling Freeze & moulded Cornice to the same turned Circularly at the Corners together withe [sic] Waint Steps ascending to the pulpit having Brackets at the Ends Also the Cap Rail upon the Iron work of the Stairs the wainscotting under the Same & the Carpenters Work or Timbering to Carry the whole 120.0.0
A Reader & Clerks Desk of Rt Wain’ with Steps Handrail floor & Timbers compleat in too25.0.0
An Alter table of Rt Waint 5ft long and 4.6 broad with Dorick Pillars & Entablature5.0.0
25.4Supll Bead wk in fronts of Pews7.69.10.10
197.3Supll Waint Benches per foot64.18.7
28.7SupU Waint Deskboard per foot614.3
40.0Run' of Cap Moulding per foot410.15.0
6.4Run' of 1 In Waint Molding per foot20.1.0165.19.8


In the North and South Screens
28¾ FIn.Supll1¼ In. Waint Beadwk pannels raised wth D° at per Yard6.69.6.10
319.2Supll 2 In Rt Wainvt Beadwk pannels raisd with a Bead on both sides at per Yard1.1029.5.1
85:0Supll Waint Fluted pilasters at per Foot2.08.10.0
7:2Supll 1½ In Waint for flowers at per foot0.74.2
53:2Supll ½ In. Waint Cover at per foot0.417.8
3:0Supll of D° Circular at per foot0.61.6
31:0Run' of 8½ In. Wt Cornice at per foot1.52.3.n
39:6Run’ of 6 In. D° at per foot1.01.19.6
61:2Run' of 6½ In. Wt Bedmolding Dentels at per Foot2.06.2.4
162:6Run’ of 6½ In Wt Architrave at per Foot1.18.16.0
108:0Run' of 6 In. D° at per Foot1.05.8.0
13:0Run’ of 4½ In. Dorick Base at per Foot0.90.9.9
12:8Run’ of 5½ In D° at per Foot0.1111.7
9:4Run' of 4½ In. Wt Capping at per foot0.90.7.0
35:4Run' of 3 In. Waint Dorick Architrave at per Ft617.8
No. 30Dorick Tryglyphs 9 In. high & 4½ In. wide at Each0.91.2.6

Carvers' Work

Most of the carvers' work has also disappeared, except that on the present pulpit, formerly the reader's desk. Their bills include the following details.


Containing the Carving of the Pulpit Readers & Clerks Desk also the Screens & Fronts of the Gallerys.

14.0of Great Torus Run’ carvd thro’ 11¼ Girt at per foot11.07.14.0
16.0Run' of impost carved with Cod Leaves per foot4.63.12.0
274.10Run' of Ogee Ovolo & Dentelling Carved 5& 12 In girt per foot2.432.1.3
23.4Run' of Astrigall Carved 2¼ In girt at per foot0.111.1.4
No. 8Festoons Carved with Flowers, Wheat Ears etc 6ft 5½ by 5 ¼ In and an Inch Embost. Each at£
4of Scrolls carved with Leaves & Shells under the Pulpit 2ft 2In girt at per foot10.02.0.0
8Sides of the same carved with Eyes raisd at3.01.4.0
A Vase carved 9 In high & 4 In Diamr in a mean10.0
20Flowers Carved 1& 14 In Each at0.46.8
8Faces of Capitals to Pilasters carved after ye Corinthian Order 8½ In. in face Each at12.65.0.0
17Brackets at Ends of Steps carved 10 by 4½ In. Each3.02.11.0
7Of the same carved 8 by 5 In at3.01.1.0
42Cartoozes carved thr in the face & sides 1ft 8ln by 9 by 8 each at1.
2Capitals to pillars carved after the Corinthian Order 20 In Diamr6.
40Flowers Carved 1½ In Diameter Each at0.
26Flowers carvd 7 In Diar & 1½ In Embost Each at3.44.6.8
23Modilions Carved 7 by 3½ by 2½ In each at2.93.3.3
22Flowers in the Coffers carvd 4 In Diamr each at1.01.2.0
16Flowers carvd 9 In Diamr & 1Ins¼ Embost each at5.64.8.0
4Days work of Carvers in making patterns per d.
42Drops carved under the Cartoozes 7 by 2¼ inch & ½ In Embost Each at1.02.2.0


2Couplets of Cherubs heads Carv’d 2 f. by 1' 8" the heads 6 Inches Embost Wings 2½In. Embost Each at204.0.0
heads Carv’d 1' 6" by 1' 3" Each at1: 5d.10.0.0
4Flowers Carv'd 1' 10" by 8 In. & 2 In. Embost at5.61.2.0
5Flowers Carv'd 10½ In. Diamer in Soffite of Entablature at the Altar Each at3.617.6
2Carv'd Flowers 8 In. Diamer & 2 In Imbost Each at2.04.0
32Flowers Carv'd 3 In. Diamer & ¾ of an In. Embost Each at64.16.0
4pannels Carv'd to the Church Wardens pew 1' 10½" by 1' 4½' & ½ In. Embost Each at1.55.0.0
2Do 1' 10½" by 10 In Each at15.01.10.0
24 Ft., 8 In.Run' of Carving 9 In. broad wth Flowers and Ribbons etc in pannels to the Christening pew at per Foot7: 69.5.0

Plasterer's Work

The following are the plasterer's ’proposal’ of 1718 and extracts from his bills.


(The contract for St. John's, Smith Square, was accepted in the same month as his contract for Christ Church, which was probably very similar.)

1. For Laithing & Plaistering work done with extraordinary hart Laths & Lath'd wth good 3d Nails of 3lb weight to the 1000. The first Coate to be Lath'd & Scrath'd in order to make good key for ye 2d wch is to be try'd with a ten or twelve ft Rule & floated, both wch Coates are to be of Good Stuff well turn'd up & wrought in the Best manner & finished wth a good Coate of white hair'd Stuff upon the two former at per yd0.1.1
2. For Molded Work in the best manner (Ornaments excluded) at per foot Supll0.0.6
3. For hard finishing in ye best manner with two Coates of Hard Stone Lime, & Sharp Sand well wrought & beat up at per Yard0.I.10
4. For Rendering upon the Walls wth Lime & Hair to be Scratch'd & try'd wth a Rule & floated as above at per Yard0.0.4
5. For Washing, Stopping, Whiting, Sizing, Blacking & Colouring the Bottoms where it shall be required at per Yd0.0.1

All the above mention d work to have no more than one Load 0f band to one hundred of Lime & not Less than ten Bushell of Hair to the same, the sand to be good Sharp pit Sand & not the White Sand Dug upon Black Heath.

That the Laths & Nails be according to a Specimen produced for the Approbation of ye Honble Commissra or their Officers.

For Modillions to the 3Pt Order wth the Ogee Included at Each0.4.0
For the Cists and Roses wth the Mold that passes from ye Modillion at Each0.0.9
For the Dentells girting the front & Soffite at per ft Sup110.0.8
For the Ovolo wth Eggs and Anchors at per ft. Sup110.0.9
For Enriching all Small Molds at per foot Sup110.1.6
For Foliage at per ft. Sup110.2.6


Yrds 125½Circular Oak Lathing & Plaistering per Yrd1.48.7.4
603½Strait Ditto at per Yard1.132.13.9
1578Hard finishing on Walls at per Yard1.10144.13.0
3I84.9SupllMolded Work at per foot0.679.12.4
338.0Supll fret Work at per foot1.625.7.0
874:6Supll enrich'd Molding at per foot1.665.11.9
502.6 NoSupll Dentelling at per foot0.816.15.0
252 NoModilions 10 by 5½ In. by 3½ In. Each at4.050.8.0
258Flowers between the Same 7 In. DiamT and 2 Inches Embost Each at0.99.13.6
4Flowers 3Ft 6In Diamr & 4 In. Embost Each at2.
4Flowers 2 ft Diamr and 3 In. Embost at16.03.4.0
A Shield 2 ft by 2 ft and 3 In Embost18.0
16Enrich'd Trusses 2 foot high & 10 Inches broad Each at7.66.0.0
Ft., In.
60., 0Supll Foliage with Husks and Drops per foot2.67.10.0
900½Common Rendering at per Yard0.415.0.2
1165½Groin'd Rendering at per Yard0.629.2.9
266Yards of Collowring at per Yard0.33.6.6
2989Whiting at per Yard0.112.9.1


A Kings Arms 10 ft by 7 ft with an enrich't Cornice, Moldings & Festoons etc. supported by a Pedestal 15 ft by 4 enriched with Foliage & Drapery in toto62.0.0

Smith's Work

The smith's bills contained a number of charges made at a rate in excess of those agreed, perhaps for the same reason as the payment of additional sums to the plumber (see page 156).

He charged for the iron gates and panels at the west and north-west sides of the church at 3¾d. and 3½d. per lb.

Plumber's Work

The plumber's rates, in his contract of January 1718/19, were as follows.


1.For Mill'd Lead, about 911. to the ft, finding all Carriage and Labour at per Cent0.13.0
2.Workmanship Solder of Rain pipes at per ft Running0.I.0
3.Workmanship and Solder of Rain Water Cisterns at per Cistern1.0.0

Painter's Work

The painter's contract in October 1723 was for painting throughout in four coats, on woodwork at 10d. and on ironwork at is. 4d. per yard. (ref. 5) Stonework was painted at the same rate as ironwork. For the years 1725–6 he charged for:

Yards 111½Faces of Stone Composite Capitals painted 2 ft 6 in. Diameter each at 5/-£27.17.6'

Glazier's Work

The glazier's work was chiefly in ’Crown Glass’ in lead or putty at 10d. to 11d. per foot. Some was in ’[New]castle Glass’ at 6d. per foot. No coloured glass is mentioned.

Pavior's Work

The pavior charged 4s. 6d. per yard for ’New Sizable Pebble paving’ and 5s. per yard for ’new paving with Purbeck Squares’.


1. L.P.L., Book of Works I, mason's bill 1717.
2. Ibid., 1718–19.
3. Ibid., Book of Works II, mason's bill 1723–4.
4. Ibid., Contracts I, pp. 12, 17.
5. Ibid., p. 33.