Christ Church: Architectural description

Survey of London: Volume 27, Spitalfields and Mile End New Town. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1957.

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'Christ Church: Architectural description', in Survey of London: Volume 27, Spitalfields and Mile End New Town, (London, 1957) pp. 169-177. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

In this section

Architectural Description

The church is planned within a rectangle, measuring outside 76 feet in width and 143 feet in length (Plates 14, 15). The nave, some 94 feet long and 35 feet wide, has a low clerestory over the high arcades which open to the aisles, each intended to contain two full-length galleries although only one appears to have been erected. The width is decreased at the east end by concave quadrant walls, meeting the square-ended altar recess, 20 feet wide and 15 feet deep, which is flanked by small sacristies entered from the staircase lobbies at the end of each aisle. Similar but slightly larger lobbies at the west end flank the vestibule, which is basically oblong in plan, measuring some 25 feet by 9 feet, with three doorways from the portico and three corresponding entrances to the nave. The vestibule and the Vestry meeting-room over it, which is an oblong measuring some 27 feet by 14 feet, are contained in the massive first stage of the tower. This projects for about one-third of its depth from the body of the church, and the tetrastyle portico projects a further 13 feet, making the total length of the building some 170 feet.

The exterior has a noble simplicity and its truly Roman immensity contrasts poignantly with the modest scale of the neighbouring streets. The east end and the side elevations are fairly straightforward in design, but the western portico and steeple are highly original features so well related that it has been customary to regard them as basic features of the original design (Plates 17, 18, 19, 25, 26, 27).

A broad flight of steps, bounded by massive pedestals and broken by a half-landing, ascends to the portico which is designed on the lines of a giant Venetian window, powerfully restating the theme of the tower's second stage and so integrating these very important elements in the composition of the front (Plate 28). The intercolumniations vary in width; the middle one is approximately 13 feet, that on each side is 7 feet, and that of the returns 10 feet. The Tuscan order is used, with columns raised on plinths above square pedestals with panelled dies but no cornices. The entablature, consisting of architrave, plain frieze, and cyma-bracketed block-cornice, is carried across the side bays and returned inside the portico to stop against the wall face, the block-cornice being mitred with the dentilled great cornice that is carried all round the body of the building. The cornice, without the cyma-brackets, is turned in a semi-circular arch across the middle bay, which is ceiled with a plaster vault ornamented with square coffers. The drawing reproduced as Plate 11a shows the methods and materials used in constructing this portico. The pedestals and columns are of stone, but the entablatures are of brick, resting on relieving arches over oak lintels. The plain faces of the soffits, the architrave fascia, and the frieze are of cement or plaster, stone being used for the architrave-moulding, the cyma-bracketed cornice and the turned arch over the middle bay.

Without the portico, the lofty first stage of the tower would have formed a front with three un moulded straight-headed recesses, providing the bare essentials of an engaged portico with the dentilled great cornice articulated in the normal way. The middle recess is appreciably wider than the others, and in its angles are curious quarter-pilasters with block bases and caps. Each recess contains a doorway with a window above it, those in the middle bay being slightly wider than the others. The round-arched doorways have moulded imposts and moulded archivolts with scrolled keystones, each with a cornice-head and an inverted scallop-shell overlapping the moulded face, one of Hawks moor's rare indulgences in the external use of carved ornament (Plate 38a). Each doorway contains a recessed door of two leaves, with raised and-fieled panels in moulded frames, and a radial fanlight fills the lunette above the dentilled transom. The windows over the doorways have arched heads, the middle one being elliptical and the others round, and all are dressed with band architraves rising from plain sills.

The narrow return faces of this stage are treated in the same manner as the front, but the pilaster strip on each face rises from a cornice-capped pedestal. The aisle walls are returned to form wide pilasters that flank the narrow bay on each side of the projecting tower. Each bay contains three superimposed openings, the first being a round-headed window, unmoulded but with band-imposts; the second is a lunette window, also unmoulded; and the third is a round window within a band-architrave, similar to those in the aisle walls.

The front face between the great and attic cornices of the tower's first stage corresponds to the clerestory-attic of the nave, and would have been plain but for the large lunette window lighting the ringing-chamber. This lunette has a band-archivolt with a triple keystone, and it will be noticed that its curvature is not concentric with that of the surrounding soffit of the portico's arched middle bay.

The attic storey of the first stage serves as a pedestal for the lofty second stage which contains the clock-works room with the belfry above. The rooms in this stage are square in plan, but the east and west walls are prolonged by buttresses that terminate in square piers and are linked on the north and south faces by deep concavities curving back to meet the square body of the tower. The front face carries up the vertical lines of the first stage, but has the character of a triumphal arch (Plate 28b). The high and narrow central arch is flanked by wide piers, each with a straight headed shallow recess containing two superimposed niches set in recessed margins, the moulded archivolts springing from moulded imposts that are returned inside the niches. Each pier carries a block-cornice, with recessed rectangular panels between the cyma-brackets, providing the springing for the moulded archivolt of the central arch. This contains a louvred opening within a plain margin, and level with the lower niches is a pedestal-apron with a circular opening in its die, framed by a band-architrave and probably intended as the basis of a clock dial. The entablature crowning the second stage has a frieze of square flush panels within channelled margins.

The side elevations of the second stage are not symmetrical, for the boldly projecting pilaster engaged to the outer angle of each western buttress is not repeated on the eastern buttress. The crowning entablature and the block-cornice are returned round the buttress and inside the deep concave recess, the cornice breaking to form the impost for a moulded arch which echoes that on the front face but is worked on the curved face. This arch frames a flat surface containing a tall rectangular opening, louvred, that rises from a pedestal containing a circular opening and is framed by a band-architrave with its eared head broken by a triple keystone. Over this is a circular opening in a band-architrave, its radius being concentric with that of the framing arch (Plate 29a).

The east elevation of the tower is more curious than beautiful, for the tall arch-headed opening is closely flanked by massive buttresses with concave inner faces. These buttresses, stopping off just above the level of the block-cornice, are physically a vertical extension of the nave's western apse, and the southern buttress contains a stone spiral staircase (Plate 29b).

The third and last stage of the tower is square in plan and each face contains an arch-headed opening with a wide plain margin recessed in an enclosing arch, its moulded archivolt springing from a cornice-impost. This cornice is continued round the buttresses that flank each face and stop off with a blocking-course above the cornice. The buttresses on the west and east faces are shallow, but those on the north and south faces project boldly and curve out in concave ramps towards their bases, effectively uniting this stage with the wider faces below. Above the moulded cornice is a slightly recessed attic, each face arcaded with three arches, unmoulded but with band-imposts, each middle arch open and the others blind. This attic forms the base of the stone spire, which is octangular in plan, the wide cardinal faces being modelled with a sunk panel whereas the concave angles are plain and have dwarf obelisks merging into them. As originally designed and built, each cardinal face contained three louvred dormers, proportioned to their position and framed with moulded architraves surmounted by urns, and down each concave angle extended a chain of acanthus crockets. The spire has an incurved moulded capping, replacing the original cornicecapping, and finishes with a ball and vane (Plates 17, 18, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29).

The long elevations facing north and south are similar, of course, and the design followed is basically symmetrical (Plates 17, 18, 26). The high wall of the aisle is divided by vertical breaks into three, the wide middle face standing slightly forward from the narrow flanking faces. The pedestal-course, with its unmoulded plinth and platband and its die pierced by the squat segmental arched windows of the crypt, is finished with a cyma-moulded offset from which the main wall face rises some forty feet to the deep fascia below the corona of the dentilled great cornice. The height of the wide middle face is broken about halfway by the moulded impost of the evenly spaced range of five unmoulded round-arched recesses, inside which the impost returns and continues to provide the springing for the concentric arches of the tall and narrow windows lighting the aisle. These windows, which are unmoulded, owe their present length to the later telescoping of the original two tiers of windows designed to fit with the aisle galleries. The plain wall face above the arches is punctuated by a corresponding range of five round windows framed in band-architraves. There is another round window in each flanking face, over an arched recess identical with those in the middle face except that the imposts are returned and stopped against the plain wall, and the windows within the recess have not been altered (Plate 31a). The lower one is square and its head is broken by a massive triple keystone supporting the heavy sill of the round-headed window above. The central recess in the middle face contains the former side entrance, now serving as a window, with a doorcase consisting of a straight-headed moulded architrave, flanked by plain jambs with scrolled consoles supporting the cornice-hood (Plate 31b). The low clerestory attic contains five segmental-headed windows, spaced to correspond with the aisle windows and dressed with eared band-architraves. Above the attic cornice is a high plain parapet, divided into bays by narrow projecting dies.

As at the west end, the side walls are returned to form massive pilasters flanking the east elevation, across which the dentilled great cornice is continued (Plates 19, 30a). The dominating feature here is the large Venetian window, raised high on an attenuated pedestal, the three openings being divided by free-standing Doric columns with square responds (Plate 30b) . The moulded archivolt of the middle light rises from the entablatures of the side lights, and the wall face above is brought slightly forward to support a break in the great cornice, where a blocking-course serves as a sill for the large lunette window, framed by a moulded archivolt, in the gable-end of the clerestory attic. This is finished with an open-bedmould triangular pediment, its cornice-returns resting on triglyphs planted on pilaster-strips, and its tympanum containing a small round window with a band-architrave. Concave-ramped buttresses of curious profile link the attic with the return faces of the aisle parapets. The wall faces flanking the Venetian window feature give no indication of the internal division into nave and aisles. Instead, they contain an arrangement of three superimposed pairs of openings. The topmost pair are round windows like those along the side elevations, and the middle pair are unmoulded round-headed windows with curious panelled aprons. The lowest pair have moulded elliptical arches springing from moulded imposts and plain piers. The inner opening frames a window lighting the sacristy, and the outer opening is a doorway, approached by a flight of stone steps bounded by massive pedestals.

The three doorways in the immensely thick west wall open to the vestibule, a sepulchral chamber with walls and piers of ashlar, rising from the plain plinth to a moulded cornice which serves as an impost for the stone vault (Plate 39c). The square central compartment is ceiled with shallow groinings and pendentives, surrounding the heavily moulded frame of the oculus, which is closed with a flat panel of wood. The north and south arms of the vestibule are barrel-vaulted, with shallow groined intersections over the archheaded doorways, and in each end wall is a semielliptical niche, its head a semi-dome below which the cornice-impost is continued. Opposite the entrance doorways are three arch-headed openings, the wide middle one furnished with glazed doors leading through panelled doors into the western apse. Each side archway opens to a cross vaulted passage with a door into the nave and a side door to the large oblong compartment containing the gallery staircase. These north-west and south-west staircases are strongly constructed of oak and rise round oblong wells to finish at the second-gallery level. The closed strings are moulded, and the moulded handrails are supported by stout baluster-turnings and Doric column newels. There is a simple dado of fielded panels against the walls, with balustrades across the window openings. The walls are plastered and the ceiling is a plain cross-vault, rising from acanthus corbels and having a central foliage-boss.

The Vestry meeting-room is basically similar to the vestibule beneath it (Plate 39d). Oblong in plan, its west wall contains three arch-headed windows and there are three doorways in corresponding positions in the east wall. Each end wall breaks slightly forward to form a wide chimney-breast. The chimneypiece, a simple architrave surround, is set in the oak dado of raised-and-fielded panels which lines the room to the height of six feet six inches, finishing with a cornice-capping. The ashlar face above is finished with a cornice, forming an impost for the elliptical vault of stone which is divided by plain transverse bands into three bays, the middle one having groined intersections meeting against the moulded surround of the oculus, which is fringed with ornaments of fruits and flowers. This oculus is closed, like the one below, with a flat panel of wood, which, with a section of the floor, can be removed to provide a clear vertical passage for raising or lowering the bells. It is worth noting that there is a remarkable resemblance between the ceiling of the Vestry meeting-room and the ceiling of Caius Cibber's Danes' Church, formerly standing in Wellclose Square, of which an engraving by Kip was published in 1697.

The extensive crypt is vaulted throughout in stone with intersecting tunnel-vaults springing from the massive piers below the nave arcades, and from the secondary piers supporting the nave floor. These secondary piers divide the central area into three, the middle division being of the same width as the altar recess. All the piers finish with band-imposts and have similar raised bands about half-way up their square shafts (Plates 12, 13, 20).

The interior of the church is noble in scale and grand in effect, but its frigid splendour is far removed in spirit from the rich warmth of Wren's comparable churches. This, of all Hawksmoor's church interiors, is the most antique in conception, and might be described as an aisled basilica adapted to the needs of a galleried auditorium church. A fine regard for Roman precedent may have prompted Hawksmoor to place colonnades before the east and west ’tribunals’, just as the need for the congregation to see and hear well from the galleries may have led him to depart from Classical models and use widely spaced arcades instead of close colonnades between the nave and aisles. The unusual height is, of course, accounted for by the intention to include two galleries in each aisle and give clerestory lighting to the nave. The nave ceiling is conventionally flat, its regular succession of transverse ribs expressing the roof structure but weakly ignoring the strongly articulated piers that break the arcades. A series of transverse barrel-vaults ceil the aisles, a device already used with great success by Wren in St. James's, Piccadilly (Plates 19b, 20, 21, 24a, 32, 33).

As already remarked, it was first intended that the arches of the nave arcades should be borne on single columns, giving a sequence of five equal bays with a narrow trabeated bay at each end, and the side walls were almost certainly begun in conformity with this idea of regular spacing. The replacement of the second column from each end by a pier, with half-columns laterally engaged, could only be achieved by decreasing the width of the flanking intercolumniations. The central bay is, therefore, wider than the others, and its arch forms a high segment with its crown level with those of the flanking semi-circular arches. Furthermore, the windows in the aisle walls are not centred with the arcade except in the central bay, being evenly spaced in bays of uniform width between single pilasters, in accordance with the original scheme (Plates 34, 35).

The plain-shafted columns and pilasters of the Composite order stand on corniced pedestals, their unusually tall dies being originally faced with panelled wainscot. Each column supports an entablature which is carried across the aisle to an abrupt stop against the side wall, resting there on a respondent pilaster. The entablature breaks forward over the half-columns engaged laterally to each pier, and over the pilaster projecting on the nave face, a projection carried up to the ceiling. From these entablatures spring the arches of the nave arcades and the barrel-vaults that ceil each bay of the aisle, except the narrow bay at each end where the ceiling is flat. The entablature soffit is decorated with an elaborate key-fret, but the architrave is omitted and the frieze is plain. The cornice, however, is adorned with enriched and dentilled bed-mouldings, and acanthus-bracket modillions support the corona, its soffit being decorated with rosettes (Plates 34, 37a, 37b, 37c). The easternmost entablature, before the narrow bay, is continued unbroken from the north wall to the south and supported by two additional columns in the nave (Plates 32, 36a, 36b). The wide middle bay of this screen-colonnade is surmounted by a plain plinth bearing the royal arms, dating from 1822 and replacing the original arms which were raised on a high pedestal decorated with modelled draperies, etc. The screen motif is repeated at the western end, with the entablature omitted from the middle bay to accommodate the organ. All of these entablatures, except those portions above the columns and piers, are formed of plaster on oak grounds.

The arches of the nave arcades have moulded and carved archivolts, broken by scrolled keystones, and the soffits are coffered, the formal flowers within the rectangles being varied in design. The keystones, too, are variously carved, the middle three with foliage designs and each end one with a cherub's head (Plate 38b). A simply moulded cornice, its bed-mouldings broken forward over each keystone, underlines the clerestory attic which is divided into bays by short pilasters, centred over the arcade columns and having moulded bases and cornice caps. Each bay, except the narrow one at either end, contains a segmental-headed window framed by an eared band-architrave with a winged cherub's head carved on its keystone. For some strange reason the second window from either end is not centred in its bays, nor with the arch keystone below and the ceiling beam above it.

Removal of the galleries and the wainscot dadoes has left the aisle walls bare of adornment save for the Composite pilasters and the curious segmental-headed aedicules set in the lunettes formed by the barrel-vaults (Plate 37b). These aedicules are framed by moulded architraves with eared heads and lugged aprons. Below them are the circular windows intended to light the upper gallery, set in arch-headed recesses, and under these the tall round-headed windows, altered in 1866.

The transverse barrel-vaults over the aisles are of plaster, the middle three being coffered with a pattern of related hexagons, recessed within enriched mouldings and containing formal flowers. Each end vault is plain except fora large acanthusboss placed centrally (Plate 37c). The flat ceiling over the nave is of plaster, with moulded and enriched ribs forming a regular pattern of rectangular compartments, a wide series centred between two narrow series. The transverse ribs rest on the clerestory pilasters, and centred between them are short parallel ribs, the former intersecting and the latter stopping against the longitudinal ribs which centre over the two columns in the east and west screen-colonnades. The rib soffits are decorated with a guilloche-band, the intersections being overlaid by floral rosettes, and the cornice-surrounds of the compartments have a dentil-course and enriched members. Each compartment contains a floral or foliage boss, proportionate to the size of the compartment. The large ventilator-grille with a key-fret surround in the central compartment probably dates from 1822 (Plates 21, 32, 33).

The side walls of the altar recess, and the concave faces that link them with the nave, are plain but for the curiously quoined angles, and it is possible that these large surfaces were intended to provide a field for illusionistic painting. The lower part of the east wall was originally concealed by the Doric altarpiece of oak, but now has a face of Caen stone with three sunk panels arranged below a frieze of scrolled ornament between cherub-heads. The panels are of the same width as the lights of the Venetian window above, the inside face of which is identical in treatment with that outside, originally arranged with clear glazing placed between the two screens of freestanding Doric columns. The large lunette window of the clerestory is framed with a moulded archivolt rising from a moulded sill. A key-fret frame encloses the rectangular ceiling compartment which is modelled with a ’glory’ of winged cherub-heads on a ground of rays bursting through clouds (Plate 37d).

The west end of the nave echoes the screen motif of the east end, but the side bays are ceiled over behind the entablature, which is omitted from the wide middle bay (Plates 22, 33). It is possible that this was an alteration made around 1734 to accommodate the organ case, and the accounts suggest that the entablature was originally surmounted by an open balustrade of deal, probably painted to represent stone. The side bays contain two galleries, the front of the first being placed level with the column bases, and the second about halfway up the column shafts. These galleries rest on beams extending from the columns to the back wall, and cross-beams placed just behind the line of the columns. (fn. c1) The fronts, which are designed as panelled pedestals, are can tilevered forward on finely carved trusses pro jecting from the cross-beams and placed below the narrow projecting dies which break the fronts. The faces between these dies are formed with oblong raised-and- fielded panels, and those at either end are splayed back with a concave curve to reveal the shafts of the columns (Plate 37a).

Figure 38:

Christ Church, carved bracket from gallery front

The organ gallery is level with the upper gallery straight front supported on two nuted Corinthian columns of oak. The gallery front is treated as a panelled pedestal, surmounting the Corinthian entablature which has a coffered soffit ornamented with floral rosettes. The organ case, raised high above a panelled chest, is a splendid Baroque design in oak, with three pipe-towers linked by bands of pipes, serpentine-curved on plan, having entablatures with open scroll-work friezes rising in serpentine lines to link the solid entablatures of the outer towers with that of the tall central tower. The three towers are surmounted by shaped pedestals, the middle one carved and sup porting a crown, the others plain and carrying porting a crown, the others plain and carrying mitres. The apse in the west wall terminates in a semi-dome at clerestory level. This semi-dome is framed by a moulded archivolt partly overlaid by an elaborate double festoon of fruits and flowers, flanked with pendants falling from rosettes. The flanking faces of the clerestory contain unmoulded sunk panels (Plates 22, 33).


The perspective drawing of the interior (Plate 24a), made before the drastic alterations of 1866, shows the floor of the church furnished with box pews arranged in two blocks, each two pews wide, on either side of the wide middle aisle, down the centre of which were placed benches for the poor. This arrangement differs in several respects from that shown on the joiner's plan for fitting up the church in 1724 (Plate 24b), with the pews grouped into four blocks and the longitudinal division in each block brought well into the nave and not in line with the front face of the column pedestals, as shown in the perspective view. The wide cross-aisles would, of course, have been replaced by additional pews when the north and south side entrances were eliminated, but it seems most Likely that the view shows the original longitudinal division, and that the joiner's plan was not fully adhered to.

The pulpit stood approximately in front of the south column of the east screen-colonnade. Raised high on a central pedestal with four scrolled trusses, this pulpit was a sumptuous construction of oak, wilh its bombé front veneered and inlaid. Two Corinthian square columns, with panelled shafts, supported the soundingboard, which had a veneered and inlaid soffit, and was finished with a pulvino frieze, probably carved and undercut, and a cornice. The steps up to the pulpit were furnished with wrought iron balustrades.

The reader's desk occupied a corresponding position in front of the north column, and still survives to serve for a pulpit, being now raised on an-inappropriate stone base and set diagonally near the east pier of the north arcade (Plate 38d). It is constructed of oak and square in plan, with re entrant angles in the front face. The cyma-curved base and the dentilled cornice-capping are richly carvedj and the latter surmounts a bold pulvino, undercut and carved with interlacing foliage-scrolls. On each face is a tall oblong panel, decorated with inlay, flanked by panelled pilaster-strips containing carved pendants of fruits, vegetables and flowers, suspended on tasselled ribbons. Similar pilaster-strips adorn each face of the re-entrant angles.

The altarpiece appears to have been first set up to allow a passage between the north and south sacristies, and the two steps then projected beyond the altar recess. (fn. 113) It was then taken down and re erected against the east wall, and the steps were set back to the front line of the recess. (fn. 231) At the time of its being offered for sale in 1851, this altarpiece was described as follows: ’It comprises a complete order of Roman Doric, extending 21 feet in width by about 15 feet in height. The centre part, projecting about 9 inches, consists of two beautiful Doric columns with their entablature, and two corresponding pilasters at the extremities; the fringes and soffites are enriched with triglyphs and mutules, and the metopes between are decorated with carvings of Cherubim in bold relief; the space behind the columns and pilasters is filled up with handsome moulded panelling in two heights, the upper panels containing the Decalogue, etc.’ (fn. 192)

The communion-rail consists of a pair of gates hung on short pilaster-standards and flanked by balustrades, all of wrought iron with hammered sheet-iron enrichments, the whole being finished with a mahogany handrail. Designed in the manner of Tijou, the balustrades are formed of standards, each ornamented with C-scrolls, stopped pendant-bars, and sheet acanthus leaves. The pilasters flanking the gates have moulded bases and acanthus caps, and the gates are of elaborate scroll-work with sheet acanthus leaves and winged cherub-heads (fig. 39).

The font, now standing in the easternmost bay of the south aisle, consists of a shallow bowl of purple-veined marble, oval in form and gad rooned on the underside, resting on a stonepedestal of exaggeratedly bombé profile and octangular plan. Each cardinal face of the pedestal has a plain sunk panel, and each narrow angle face is carved with a pendant of husks. In July 1712 the Commissioners had resolved that in their churches ’the Fonts be so large as to be capable to have Baptism administered in them by dipping when desired’, (fn. 37) but the small size of the font here does not at all conform to this.


The two most important monuments in the church are those to Edward Peck and Sir Robert Ladbroke, conspicuously placed against the quadrant walls flanking the altar recess.

The monument to Edward Peck, on the south quadrant wall, is signed by Thomas Dunn. It is a Baroque design, somewhat in the manner of James Gibbs, carried out in white, veined white, brown and white, grey, and gold-veined black marbles. The pedestal breaks forward twice and the panelled die of the wide middle portion bears the inscription. This portion of the pedestal supports a sarcophagus-chest of black-and-gold marble, having a gadrooned lid surmounted by the portrait bust of Peck. The sarcophagus, which is placed against a grey marble obelisk beneath a tent-like baldaquin, is flanked by mourning cherubs, the base of that on the right being inscribed ’Thos. Dunn, Fecit’. The architectural frame consists of two plain-shafted Corinthian three-quarter columns supporting an open-bedmould pediment of triangular form, above which is a large Baroque cartouche of arms, flanked by floral pendants and framed by concave-curving pilaster-strips with scrolled consoles supporting a smaller open bedmould pediment of segmental form, this being surmounted by a tall-necked gadrooned urn.

Figure 39:

Fig. 39. Christ Church, communion rail

The inscription commemorates (1) Edward Peck, esq., died 19 June 1736. (2) Elizabeth, his wife, died 25 July 1730. (3) Mrs. Deborah (late wife of John Peck, esq.), died 26 November 1739 (4) John Peck, esq., died 14 March 1748.

The monument was erected by ’their only sur viving son Jno Peck, Esqr. Anno 1737.’ The Peck burial vault was at the south-west end of the church.

The monument to Sir Robert Ladbroke, which stands against the north quadrant wall, is by John Flaxman, R.A. The pedestal, of white marble with a stepped base of grey marble, has a curved central portion bearing the inscription. The finely sculptured statue of Ladbroke, in his Lord Mayor's robes, stands against a grey marble slab that represents the tapered opening of a Grecian doorway, its simple architrave-frame surmounted by a plain frieze and triangular pediment, all of white marble.

The inscription commemorates Sir Robert Ladbroke, died 31 October 1773, and his wife Elizabeth (daughter and heiress of John Peck), died 1 October 1768. The monument was erected by Richard Ladbroke in 1794.

Memorial Tablets, etc.

North wall, (1) Louise Skinner, d. 20 May 1913. (2) James Imray, d. 15 Nov. 1870; Eliza beth, his wife, d. 24 Oct. 1836. (3) James Ouvry, d. June 1759; Ann, his wife, d. Dec. 1767; Elizabeth, his daughter-in-law, d. March 1771. (4) Richard Clement Headington, d. 13 Feb. 1831. (5) Elizabeth Catherine Groves Boyd, d. 18 Aug. 1836. (6) Mary Ann Hollo way, d. 27 Dec. 1829. (7) Esther Haynes, d. 18 March 1869. (8) William Roach, d. 21 June 1909. (9) Rev. West Wheldale, d. 25 Nov. 1828, rector.

South wall, (10) Philip Chabot, d. 6 Oct. 1800; Lydia, his wife, d. 18 March 1801; their sons, George, d. 26 Jan. 1796, and Philip, d. 2 Nov. 1832; their daughters, Elizabeth, d. 30 May 1813, and Charlotte, d. 9 Sept. 1848. Also James Chabot, son of Philip and Lydia, d. 20 June 1850; Harriet, his wife, d. 31 Dec. 1850; Emily Sempronia, their daughter, d. 31 May 1828. Also Philip James Chabot, eldest son of Philip (d. 1832) and Elizabeth his wife, d. 11 Jan. 1868. (11) Samuel Sandell, d. 24 July 1836; Mary, his wife, d. 12 Oct. 1814. (12) Joseph Vaux, d. 13 May 1835; Mary, his wife, d. 10 Dec. 1835. (13) James Foot, d. 18 March 1816; Ann, his wife, d. 24 Aug. 1816. (14) Charles Henry Chard, d. 22 April 1925, rector 1909–25.

Vestibule. The ten tablets in the vestibule were placed there in 1897 by the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews; they were previously in the Episcopal Jews' Chapel in Palestine Place, Bethnal Green. (15) Rev. F. C. Ewald, d. 9 Aug. 1874. (16) Rev. John Christian Reichardt, d. 13 March 1873. (17) Jane Cook, d. 11 Feb. 1851. (18) Rev. Lewis Way, d. 23 Jan. 1840. (19) Rev. Alexander McCaul, d. 13 Nov. 1863. (20) Rev. Aaron Stern, d. 13 May 1885. (21) Rev. Charles Sleech Hawtrey, d. 17 July 1831 (this tablet is the work of William Croggon).232 (22) Rev. James Boardman Cartwright, d. 8 Feb. 1861. (23) George Thomas King, d. 12 July 1833. (24) William Wynne Wilson, d. 10 Jan. 1877.

The large oval font at the west end of the church was placed there in 1898; it was also pre viously in the Episcopal Jews' Chapel in Palestine Place.

Inset in the paving at the east end of the north aisle is an oblong slab of stone, removed from Sir George Wheler's Chapel, later St. Mary's Church, Spital Square. The stone bears the inscription, in incised letters filled with black composition:

Nearby is a square inset of sixteen small medieval tiles of earthenware, some decorated in buff and terra-cotta and others with a rich brown glaze. These were found in 1892, apparently near the northern corner of the west arm of Spital Square, and may have belonged to the Priory of St. Mary Spital (see page 43).


The windows throughout the church were originally glazed with small quarries of clear glass set in lead and iron frames. Such glazing survives only in the windows serving the staircases, sacristies, vestry room, etc. The windows lighting the body of the church were probably altered in 1866, and are glazed with white ground glass in large sheets, with patterned borders, set in iron frames. The Venetian window and lunette in the east wall of the altar recess have double glazing, the outer windows being of ground glass and the inner of stained glass. A tablet on the eastern-most pilaster-pedestal of the south arcade records that these stained-glass windows were executed by Messrs. Ward and Hughes, of Soho Square, London, in midsummer 1876, and were ’put in by the generous contributions of the Parishioners and a few friends outside the Parish’. Each side light of the Venetian window contains three medallions picturing incidents in the life of Christ. The middle light portrays the Last Supper and, above it, the Resurrection. In the lunette is a crown of glory.


  • 37. Ibid., 16 July 1712.
  • 113. B.M.,King's Topographical Collection XXIII, 11.j.
  • 192. The Builder, 4 Oct. 1851, advertisement, p. 633.
  • 231. B.M., King's Topographical Collection XXIII, 11. k.
  • c1. The upper tier of galleries on the west were added by Ewan Christian in 1866.