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

Allen, Thomas

1827

St. John's Church.

 

This edifice is situated on the south side of , in the centre of a spacious area used as a burial ground. It is a plain and inelegant building of stone; the plan gives a parallellogram; the longest sides broken in the centre, and receding a small degree behind small divisions at the extremities; the east front has a semicircular bow in the centre; the basement is occupied by extensive burial vaults. The west front commences with a stylobate broken in the centre by a lintelled doorway covered with a cornice; on each side the door is a small mean window, and above are lofty round-headed windows; the upright is finished with a cornice, surmounted by a pediment; the raking cornice and tympanum broken in the centre to make way for the tower, which is square in plan, and commences from the cornice with a lofty stylobate crowned with a string course, and perforated in its western front with a circular window; from the string course rise antae, dividing the breadth into portions, the centre occupied by a round-headed window filled with weather boarding, the side divisions by niches; the whole crowned by an entablature and attic, in the centre of which is a ballustrade; the aspects of this stage of the building are uniform: within the attic is a cubical pedestal with a clock dial on each face, and crowned with a cornice, from which an unsightly fluted pillar takes its rise, diminished most irregularly to its capital, which is Ionic; the whole is crowned with an acroterium and vane in the shape of a comet, and has strikingly the appearance of the chimney of a gas-light establishment. The flank walls are broken into a recess and projecting ends, for no apparent purpose; in the latter portions are windows in height, in succession; the centre is parallellogrammatic, the others square, and devoid of architraves, the upright finished with a cornice; in the recessed portion is a lintelled entrance in the centre, between small windows, and surmounted by a Venetian window of the Ionic order; on each side of which are windows, the lower square, the upper round-headed, corresponding with the

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west front; the elevation is finished with a cornice of great projection brought out sufficiently to range with the projections; the east front is in portions; the central is a semicircular bow lighted by windows in succession, of the same character as in the projections in the flanks; the upright is finished with a cornice in the wall of the church; on each side are other windows of a similar character; the wall rises above the bow in a pediment,--the horizontal cornice of which is omitted, and the tympanum pierced with a porthole window. The roof is covered with slate above the central portion before remarked, and there rises to a high ridge, but it is considerably lower at the extreme eastern division, and in consequence has an extremely unsightly appearance: a permanent flag staff is erected at the east end. The interior is of a character equally mean with the outside, and is injured by projecting piers; at each side marking the divisions before noticed, which obtrude most unnecessarily on the design; it is not divided by pillars or arches, and the walls are finished by a dentillated cornice on which rests the ceiling, which is horizontal and pannelled; in the centre a large square panne;, the corners cut off and concaved; at each end, a circular . A gallery occupies the sides and west end; it rests on Doric columns, and the front is composed of the entablature of the order in which the mutules are unwarrantably omitted, surmounted by an attic; on the western portion is inscribed, -

This church was consecrated A. D.

1733

.

The altar occupies the eastern bow which is ceiled with a hemispherical dome; the soffit ornamented with a choir of cherubs in relief, and a series of pannels: the altar screen is of wood painted white, with gilt enrichments; it is made into divisions by Ionic pilasters; the centre is marked by insulated fluted columns, over which the entablature is brought forward; the usual inscriptions and windows occupy the intervals; over the screen in the centre is a painting of no great merit of

St. John writing the Apocalypse,

by the rev. Mr Peters. The organ, in a large carved ease, is situated on the western branch of the gallery. The pulpit is circular and very lofty; it is enriched with large cartouches, and the sounding board is of the same form, and sustained on square pilasters of the Ionic order: below the pulpit are the reading and clerk's desks; the whole are grouped on the south side of the middle aisle. The font is a circular basin of white marble on a balluster, and is situated below the western gallery.

There are several monuments in this church, but none particularly worthy notice. The principal is in the south wall; it consists of a neat marble tablet with the sword, mace, cap of maintenance, &c. to sir Robert Kite, knt. and alderman, who died , aged .

The length of this church is feet, the breadth .

The architect was James, of Greenwich, who, notwithstanding that the plan of his church is that of an ancient , has failed

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to produce the effect which might be expected from his other works; an absurd attempt at novelty in the steeple has rendered the design of the exterior perfectly ridiculous.

The patronage of this church, as well as that of the mother church, is in the crown. It pays procurations to the archdeacon synodals

In is a handsome building, which formerly belonged to the trained bands of before-mentioned; it is now converted into workhouses, for each parish.

 
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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