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