The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4

Allen, Thomas

1827

St. Peter's, Pimlico.

On the north side of , at the eastern extremity of the handsome pile of buildings called Wilton-place, is situated the new church of St. Peter. It is placed in an area, partly paved, and the remainder laid down in grass; the whole enclosed with a handsome iron railing. The plan shows an oblong square, with a portico and lobbies at the west, and a chancel and vestries at the east end. The breadth of the principal front is occupied by a portico composed of fluted Ionic columns, resting on a flight of steps, and sustaining the entablature of the order, surmounted by a pediment; in the wall, at the back of the portico, are lintelled doorways, the heads surmounted with cornices resting on consoles; the ceiling is horizontal in the centre, and coved at the sides. A low attic rises from the roof of the church to a height equal with the apex of the pediment; it is crowned with a cornice and blocking-course, and again surmounted by an acroterium of nearly its own height, but in breadth only equal to thirds of the former member; this is again surmounted by a sub-cornice and blocking-course, from the middle of which rises the tower. This structure is made into stories: the is square; it commences with a pedestal, having a circular dial in the dado; the superstructure has an arched window between Ionic columns; the angles finished with antae; this story is crowned with the entablature of the order, surmounted by square acroteria, finished with angular caps at the angles. The story is small in proportion to the last; it takes a circular form, and is composed of a pedestal covered with a circular dome; the dado is enriched with sunk pannels, and the cornice with Grecian tiles: the whole is surmounted by a neat cross. Every aspect of the tower is uniform with the west front. The flanks of the church are alike. The division from the west is separated from the rest of the wall by antae; it contains a lintelled and a circular window in succession; the rest of the wall is

377

occupied by lofty and well proportioned arched windows; the walls are built of brick resting on a plinth of granite, and crowned with the entablature continued from the portico; the angles are guarded by antae; the flanks of the attics are finished with pediments. The vestries have lintelled doorways in the sides and ends, and are finished with an entablature at about half the height of the church: the angles are guarded by antae. The chancel has no window in the eastern wall, but the flanks have arched windows corresponding with the church; the walls are finished with the continued entablature. A porch, with an arched doorway, in front of the wall, connects the vestries.

The interior is approached by a lobby occupying the basement story of the tower, and by lateral ones which contain stairs to the galleries; it is occupied on sides by a spacious gallery, sustained on Ionic columns; the chancel is separated from the church by an ascent of steps, at the commencement where the pulpit is situated, and at the recessed portion which contains the altar; the angles of this recess are guarded by pilasters of the Corinthian order, surmounted by their entablature; a modillion cornice from which is continued round the entire building, and serves as an impost to the ceiling, which is a segmental arched vault made by ribs into divisions corresponding with the windows, and occupied by sunk pannels; in the central of each division is an expanded flower. The chancel has a horizontal ceiling pannelled by flying cornices; the soffits enriched with flowers. The altar is enclosed in an oak ballustrade. The screen is also of oak; it is made into compartments by antae; the central is square, and occupied by a pannel of crimson velvet framed; the lateral divisions are smaller, and correspond in their decorations; the more distant divisions, and those against the side walls, contain the usual inscriptions on oak pannels; above the altar-screen is a large oak pannel with gilt mouldings, covered with a pediment; it serves as a relief to Mr. Hilton's magnificent painting of

Christ crowned with thorns,

exhibited at Somerset-house in , and presented to this church by the British Institution in ; a painting which does honour to the country, and deserves to rank far above the much vaunted works of most of the old masters.

An additional gallery at the west end of the church, sustained on Ionic columns, contains the organ and seats for the charity children. The case of the instrument is very neatly ornamented with a mitre, crosiers, and trumpets.

The pulpit is on the south side of the church: if is octangular, and rests on a pillar of the same form; it is tastefully carved in oak, and has a solid appearance. The reading and clerk's desks are on the opposite side of the area.

The site of the church was the gift of lord Grosvenor; the sum of was granted by the king's commissioners towards the building. The stone was laid on the of

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, and the church was consecrated on the . The architect is H. Hakewell, esq.

Near this church is , a fine piece of ground well laid out; it measures yards in length, and yards in breadth.

In this parish was an ancient manor, called Neyte, or Neate. Mr. Lyson says,

Edward VI. granted the house called Neate, and all the site, circuit, ambust, and premises thereto belonging, late parcel of the possessions of

Westminster abbey

, and then situated in the parish of

St. Martin's

in the fields, to sir Anthony Browne.

There are still some houses, called the Neate-houses, situated near the water side.

Great improvements have been made in this part of ; the canal has been widened, and at the northern end is a handsome and commodious dock; which will be found of great advantage to and the parts adjacent.

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Pat. I Edw. VI. p. 9.

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 Title Page
 Dedication
CHAPTER I: Site, local divisions, and government of the City of Westminster; history of the Abbey; Coronation Ceremonies; and lists of the Abbots and Deans
CHAPTER II: Westminster Abbey, and Description of the Tombs and Monuments
CHAPTER III: History and Topography of St. Margaret's Parish
CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of St. John's Parish, Westminster
CHAPTER V: History and Topography of the parish of St. Martin's in the Fields, Westminster
CHAPTER VI: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. James, Westminster
CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Anne, Westminster
CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of the parish of St. Paul, Covent Garden
CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Mary-le-strand
CHAPTER X: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. Clement Danes
CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of the parish of st. George, Hanover Square
CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of the Precinct of the Savoy
CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of the Inns of Court
CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of the Precincts of the Charter-house and Ely Place, and the Liberty of the Rolls
 CHAPTER XV: Historical Notices of the Borough of Southwark
CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Olave, Southwark
CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of the parish of St. John, Southwark
CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of the parish of St. Thomas, Southwark
CHAPTER XIX: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. George's, Southwark
CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of St. Saviour's Parish
CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of the parist of Christ-church in the County of Surrey
 CHAPTER XXII: A List of the Principal Books, &c that have been published in Illustration of the Antiquities, History, Topography, and other subjects treated of in this Work
 Addenda et Corrigienda
 Postscript