Survey of London: Volume 21, the Parish of St Pancras Part 3: Tottenham Court Road and Neighbourhood. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1949.
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LXXXI—ST. SAVIOUR'S HOSPITAL, OSNABURGH STREET
In Osnaburgh Street is St. Saviour's Hospital, the chapel of which is furnished with an elaborate altar-piece, stalls, and other baroque woodwork from the Carthusian Church of Buxheim in Bavaria. The sisterhood which serves the Hospital was founded by Dr. Pusey in 1845 and came to St. Saviour's in 1852, Dame Palmer, wife of Sir Henry Palmer, Pusey's friend, establishing here this small hospital in the first house built for an Anglican Community since the Reformation. The woodwork was sold by Buxheim in 1880, and after being purchased by the Jansenists in Holland was brought to London and bought by Sir Henry Palmer from Messrs. Bonham, of Oxford Street, in 1886.
Buxheim lies some 3 miles east of Memmigen on the banks of the Iller, about 40 miles S. W. of Augsburg, the bishop of which presented the ancient Collegiate house there to the Carthusians in 1402. They built a Monastery, largely completed by 1512, which continued until 1809 when the community was secularized. In 1880 the then owner, Count Hugo von Waldbott-Bassenheim, sold its library and choir-stalls. The date of the woodwork is reasonably certain since the year 1691 is carved on the altarscreen.
A considerable amount of alteration and adaptation was necessary to fit the stalls into their present position. Of the original stalls (thirteen on the south side, twelve on the north and six on the west), eighteen were kept intact, the rest being cut up to form the other furniture of the Chapel. The series of figures at the back of each stall is of Hermits and Founders of Religious Orders, with the additional figures of Our Lord and the Virgin Mary from the two principal stalls but now placed on the altar-screen. On pedestals above the stalls are large figures of the Twelve Apostles and against the north wall are those of Aaron, Moses, Melchisedech and David, which were designed to crown the west range.
On the altar-screen, on either side of the arch, stand Seraphim; flanking the date panels are emblems of the Seasons and on the pedestal in the pediment the Four Living Creatures of Revelation hold a shield on which is inscribed JAHWEH. On the pediment two Cherubim carry scrolls with the words: SANCTUS, SANCTUS, SANCTUS, DOMINUS DEUS SABAOTH, and at the top is St. Michael holding a shield bearing: QUIS Ut DEUS. On the desks by the door are figures of Carthusian monks in the traditional attitude of contemplation at the altar steps before saying Mass. On the west wall, above the stalls, there is a miscellaneous collection of fragments and figures of angels, including a modern Italian text and lattice work, and amongst them is a cartouche, carved and pierced, and containing initials.
The figures on the stalls (in addition to the twelve Apostles) are as follows: (S.W. side), Elijah, S. John of God, S. Basil the Great, S. Augustine of Hippo, S. Odo, S. Bruno, S. William of Monte Virgina, S. Stephen of Thiers, S. John of Matha. (N.W. side), S. John Baptist, S. Anthony, S. Jerome, S. Philip Beniti, S. Celestine (Pope Celestine V), S. Norbert, S. Guy of Montpellier, S. Dominic, S. Robert of Molesmes (Altar Screen), Our Lord, S. Frances, The Blessed Virgin, (Side Chapel), S. Cajetan, S. Benedict, S. Philip Neri, S. Bridget of Sweden, S. Peter Nolasco, S. Ignatius Loyala, S. Theresa. (See Plate 75.)
We are indebted to Mr. A. R. Dufty, F.S.A., for the above particulars.—Editor.