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

Allen, Thomas


Hanover Chapel.


The order of the architecture of this chapel, as stated in the reports of the commissioners for building new churches, is

Ionic, of the Temple of Minerva Polias, at Priene.

The principal front ranges with the houses on the western side of . The portico, in imitation of the mother church (St. George, ,) covers the foot-path, an arrangement to be admired, as the lower parts of the columns are not injured in appearance by the addition of unsightly iron rails, like the noble church of . The building is thus rendered conspicuous in a lateral point of view, and not like many other fine edifices, so hid and concealed, that thousands may pass daily, and be almost total strangers to the beauties they contain. The other portions of the exterior, with the exception of wings, are concealed by houses. To the mediocrity of style observable in the new churches, the present forms a splendid exception. Its exterior and interior features are novel. The style of architecture, and the ingenuity and symmetry of the arrangement, reflect the highest credit upon the architect, Mr. Cockerell.

From the wings rise square towers; the angles being formed of Ionic pilasters sustaining an entablature, above which is a block cornice. The fronts are pannelled, and ornamented with paterae.



There are some particulars worthy of notice in the detail of this facade. The architraves of the portico, where they enter the main building, rest on antae, in the capitals of which are inserted busts of angels supporting the order in the style of cariatidae. In the cymatium are introduced the heads of dolphins. The principal doorway, of a pyramidal form, as usual in Grecian buildings, is enclosed within an architrave richly embellished with honeysuckle mouldings and patere. The cornice of the lintel rests upon consoles inserted in the wall; above is a circular wreath of foliage, enclosing the date A. D. , the period of the commencement of the building.

Over the centre of the building is a spherical dome surmounted with a gilt cross.

The front, upon the whole, is certainly of the finest ornaments of the street, and is decidedly the best specimen of architecture in it. If any thing is to be regretted, it is the square turrets which finish the elevation; there is a meanness about these appendages, ill suiting the building to which they are attached.

The interior is square, each of the sides being carried out to form aisles.

The ceiling is sustained by fluted columns, and the same number of antae; they are specimens of an order as yet without a name, but nearest approaching to the Corinthian. The capitals have the basket and encurvated abacus of that order, but have only a single row of leaves set perpendicularly on the astragal. The caulicolae are omitted, and upon the volutes are placed doves, with extended wings, corresponding with each angle of the abacus. The capitals of the antae are similar, with the exception of the doves. In the centre of the ceiling is the cupola, on the inner circumference of which is placed corbels, each representing a cherub with wings, from which rise the same number of concave ribs, uniting in a circle with a triangle inclosed in an irradiation in the centre; between the ribs are glazed windows, a very considerable portion of light being thrown down into the building by this tasteful cupola, in which elegance and utility are happily combined.

The most splendid piece of composition in the chapel is the altar. It is enriched with imitations of various antique marbles, and forms on the whole a rich architectural display. The centre, in imitation of the

holy of holies,

is a deep recess covered with a dark blue curtain, in the centre of which is displayed a cross, and the monagram I. H. S. in letters of gold. The marbles imitated are porphyry, verd antique, and Sienna marble; the various mouldings are enriched in gold on a white ground. The recess is flanked with piers of Sienna marble, each containing a sunk pannel of porphyry, with gilt mouldings. Fronting the piers are tablets of black marble, with arched heads, having the decalogue in gold letters inscribed on them. A splendid frieze and cornice crowns the whole; the former is enriched with passion-flowers and white


lilies in bold relief, alternating with each other, and splendidly coloured, worthy of attention for the beauty of the ornaments, but more so for the appropriateness of them.

The whole embellishments of the church are happily chosen; each presents a symbol in some way or other associated with our religion. The organ is placed immediately upon the altar, and the pipes, in a tastefully ornamented case, are made to correspond with, and form a finish to the rich architectural composition below. No gallery intervenes, the instrument being played at the side. The pulpit and desks are placed in group in the front of the altar, an arrangement which the want of space renders necessary. The greatest ingenuity is displayed in the arrangement of the pews and galleries. The site of the building being very confined, has rendered additional galleries necessary; but the lower being made to project considerably beyond the upper ones, that theatrical appearance, so unpleasing in Mary-le-bone church, is avoided. The neatness displayed in the internal fittings, as well as the mode of lighting the aisles and spaces beneath the galleries, is much to be admired. The architect has made the most of his funds as well as his ground, which it must have struck any who saw the site before the erection of the building was a very confined spot.

Near this chapel is a pleasing exhibition, entitled,

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 Title Page
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