The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4
It was built by Marmaduke Darell, brother and executor to the rev. George Darell, D. D. prebendary of , who, by will, dated , gave to erect a chapel in . The present structure was completed in by the bounty of archbishop Laud, sir Robert Pye, who gave and other benefactors.
During the civil war Charles I. this chapel was converted into a stable; but at the restoration it reverted to its former situation.
This structure is curious from the mixture of Italian and pointed architecture which is generally found in the buildings of the period of its erection. The plan is cruciform: but the area occupied by the exterior walls is almost square. The walls are built with dark red brick, and the roof covered with tile. The elevations of the building are nearly uniform; the flanks only differing from the east and west fronts in a slight projection at the transepts.
The west front has a large circular arched window in the centre, filled in with stone-work, which formerly consisted of mullions, dividing the window into lights, with arched beads, enclosing sweeps; the head of the arch occupied by sub-arches and various perpendicular and quarterfoil divisions: the whole are walled up, except the divisions in the head of the arch. On each side of this window are others nearly square, divided by perpendicular mullions as before, into lights. The ancient finish to the gable is destroyed, and a modern coping substituted. Above the centre rises a mean turret of wood, ending in a cupola, surmounted by a vane in the form of a key. The flanks have windows of the same number and character as before, which are all open oval windows have been added near the east. The transepts are marked by a slight projection; and the gable, like the west front, is modernized. The side divisions are finished with cantilever cornices and dripping eaves. Beneath the side windows, in each flank, are arched doorways, enclosed in rusticated
| frontispieces, coveted with pediments; the doors are coeval with the main edifice, as the carving of them shews. The raking cornice of the pediment of the northern entrance is broken to let in a tablet inscribed
The east front only differs from the western in having no tower, the windows are entirely open: all the angles of the building are rusticated in brick-work: the mullions and doorcases are stone. The interior is not remarkable for decoration; it is made in breadth into a centre and side aisles by rows of columns of an order between the Doric and Tuscan, being disposed on each side of the central aisle, the intercolumniation in the middle answering to the transept being wider than the others; the columns sustain an entablature, which is broken at the transepts, and the cornice returned to the side walls. The ceiling of the central aisle and transepts is elliptically arched and groined at the intersection; the side aisles have plain horizontal ceilings. Galleries are erected on each side of the church with pannelled fronts, and another ranging from the ground to a considerable height, is erected at the west end; it is filled with seats for charity children, and the organ and clock. The altar screen is of oak in divisions; the central contains the decalogue, over which is a pelican in relief; the initial letters of the commandments are curiously ornamented. The side compartments are each enriched with Corinthian pilasters sustaining elliptical pediments, also with cherubic heads, foliage, &c. in relief; this screen, with the pews and the rest of the wood work of the interior, appear to have been constructed after the Restoration, when divine service was restored. The pulpit and desks are situated in the central aisle near the altar; the former is hexagonal and sustained on a pillar of the same form; it is evidently the original pulpit of the chapel, and was originally affixed to the eastern pillar of the south transept, as the irons which held the sounding board still remain; it has only received an additional support of a square form to render its appearance uniform with the desks. The font is situated in a pew in the south aisle; it consists of a basin of white marble on a balluster of the same; the cover, &c. carved in oak.
In the east window are some fragments of painted glass which escaped the pious hands of the roundheads when they profaned the church; in the spandrils of of the sub-arches in the tracery, are cherubic heads, and in of the lights is the following shield of arms, viz. Or on a chevron between leopards faces, a mullet for difference , and a portcullice crowned; these small fragments are still in danger from wilful mischief; many of the windows of the church having been wantonly broken, a melancholy proof of the depravity of the lower orders of the population of the neighbourhood, and at the same time creating a feeling of sorrow that any place of worship belonging to the establishment
|should be in want of proper funds to keep it in a sound state of repair.|
The monuments are numerous; at the east end on the north side of the largest window is a mural monument of white marble, surmounted by a medallion of the deceased held by a cherub, to Mrs. Eliz. Squire, without any date of her decease or age.
At the opposite side is another mural monument, consisting of a pedestal sustaining an urn of a tasteful design, and surmounted by a bust of the deceased, to the memory of
died , aged .
Adjoining is a neat marble tablet with a good basso relievo of school. It is to the memory of W. W. Giffard, who died , aged . This monument was erected by the scholars of , of which establishment the deceased was a monitor.
Against the south west pillar of the transept is a slab of white marble, inscribed to the memory of the Rev. W. A. Gunn, Sunday evening preacher in this chapel. He died Dec. , aged .
Against the east wall of the church-yard is an inscription recording the decease of Margaret Patten, June , aged . She died in the parish workhouse.
On the south side of the , in Tothill-fields, is the