Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tour of 18th century London Churches

It brings me great pleasure to take my readers upon a walking tour of 18th century London (made possible by Google Street View), dwelling especially on those of the city's churches erected directly in consequence of the Act of 1711, also known as the Commission for Fifty Churches, passed by the Tories in Parliament, and approved by Queen Anne, with the intent of signifying the triumph of the High Church. To finance this noble goal---of erecting fifty churches---it was deemed appropriate to impose a tax upon coal.   

The unconventional viewing angle of these photos, rather than that of a professional photographer, merely reflects the pedestrian's actual street-level perspective. 

St George, Bloomsbury
 St George’s at Bloomsbury, finished in 1730, designed by Mr. Nicholas Hawksmoor. This church enjoys the reputation of having the finest Corinthian portico in London.

St George in the East 
St George in the East was finished in 1723, also designed by Mr. Hawksmoor. Observe its Gothic origins.

Christ Church Spitalfields
Christ Church Spitalfields, finished in 1729, designed by Mr. Hawksmoor. Take note of its Gothic steeple and Tuscan columns.

St Alphege, Greenwich
St Alphege at Greenwhich, completed in 1730, likewise designed by Mr. Hawksmoor. Notice  the splendid Tuscan portico.

St Anne's Limehouse
 St Anne’s Limehouse, completed in 1730, designed by Mr. Hawksmoor.

St George's, Hanover Square
 St George’s at Hanover Square, completed in 1725, designed by Mr. John James. It enjoys the reputation as the most fashionable of all the churches erected during this period, being a popular spot for patrician weddings.

                                 St Mary-le-Strand                             

St Mary-le-Strand, built in 1717, designed by the papist Mr. James Gibbs in the Roman Baroque style.

St Luke's, in Old Street

1760 illustration of St Luke's
St Luke’s in Old Street, jointly designed by Mr. Hawksmoor and Mr. James, and completed in 1733. Note the obelisk spire, a feature of high rarity in Anglican Churches.

St Paul's, Deptford
 St Paul’s, in Deptford, designed by Mr. Thomas Archer in Roman Baroque style, and completed in 1730.

St John's, in Smith Square

St John's, in Smith Square, 18th century illustration

St John’s, in Smith Street, designed by Mr. Archer, and completed in 1728, in finest example of British Baroque style. Note the distinct four towers, as if resembling an upside-down footstool--- this in honor of Queen Anne’s caprice of kicking over the footstool and gesturing towards the upside object, in a whimsical attempt to illustrate to Mr. Archer what Her Majesty wanted her church to look like.

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