The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
St. Andrew, Holborn.
This church is the largest, and of the most regular of the many built by sir Christopher Wren; it is situated on the south side of , at the corner of , and is separated from the highway by a spacious church-yard, the approach to which is by a noble pair of iron gates, decorated with a gilt statue of the patron saint, and sustained by piers finished with urns. The churchyard is considerably above the street, owing to its surface having been raised to a level with the highest part of the hill.
It is a rectory, and was originally in the gift of the dean and canons of , London, who transferred it to the abbot and convent of ; and they continued patrons thereof till their convent was dissolved by Henry VIII. His majesty granted this church to Thomas lord Wriothesley, afterwards earl of Southampton, from whom it descended by marriage to the noble family of Montague.
The plan shews a nave, aisles, and chancel, with small rooms occupying the angles formed by the projection of the latter, and a square tower at the west end, flanked by spacious vestibules, containing stairs to the galleries. The church is lofty, but owing to the great height necessary to be given to the east end to gain the level with the higher parts of the church-yard, space is afforded for extensive catacombs.
The tower is partly ancient; it is made in height into stories, the comprise the whole of the old structure, the is an addition of Wren's. The west front has a disused doorway, with a modernized pointed arch in the lower story, which by the accumulation of the earth is greatly abridged of its original height; the story has a pointed window of lights, with arched heads, inclosing sweeps, divided by mullions; the head of the arch being occupied by perpendicular mullions of similar design to the others, but smaller; the story has a small pointed window of lights, which is also repeated in the flanks; the upper story has a large round headed window in every aspect, with handsome dressings; the elevation is finished with a ballustrade, on a cornice sustained on brackets, at the angles are pedestals surmounted by pyramidal formed ornaments, composed of cartouches, sustaining a vane; the old part of the structure have buttresses at the angles, and the whole has been covered with a modern ashlaring of Portland stone; the vestibules attached to the sides of the tower, occupy in height the stories; each has a segment arched window, and above it an entire circular ; the flanks have doorways instead of the lower windows; the elevations are finished with a cornice and blocking course. The south side of the church has tier of windows, in the upper , in the lower ; the latter are segment arched, the former semicircular; the place of windows at the extremities are supplied by doorways, lintelled, and covered with elliptical pediments sustained on consoles; the elevation is finished with a cornice and ballustrade. The north front is uniform with the southern. The east end of the aisles have windows corresponding with the upper tier of the flanks. The elevation of the chancel, viewed from the street, is exceedingly lofty, half its height being occupied by the wall of the catacombs; in the superstructure is a large and handsome Venetian window, in stories, each story made into lights by columns, with corresponding pilasters, sustaining their respective entablatures; the lowest order is Corinthian, the upper composite; the elevation is finished by a cornice surmounted by a pediment; in the tympanum is a circular window, and on acroteria are lofty urns. The rooms which flank the chancel are uniform, and contain windows agreeing with the lower tier of the church in each of the fronts, they are covered with domed roofs. The southern is used as a registry, the northern as a vestry. The whole church is substantially built with Portland stone, and the roof covered with lead. It has no western entrance in use, the approaches being by the doorways in the flank walls. The tower is pierced in the north, east, and south walls, with pointed arches, sustained on semi-columns, from which circumstance it is evident it has always stood within the
| body of the church. The interior partakes of the boldness of character which marks the outside. The area is but little broken by solids, and the proportions are so harmonious, that it forms, on the whole, of the noblest interiors in the metropolis ; the division between the nave and aisles, on each side, is made by wainscotted piers, composed of an union of antae, sustaining the galleries, which have pannelled oak fronts, from the superior member of which rise handsome columns of the Corinthian order, the shafts painted to imitate Sienna marble, with statuary capitals and bases, which, with Ionic columns attached to the extreme walls, support the vaulted ceiling; the centre is arched elliptically, and the side divisions over the aisles with arcs doubleaux, having flowers at the intersections. The ceiling is arched above all the intercolumniations; the spandrils of the arches being filled with cherubic heads and foliage; the arches spring from an architrave over the columns, and at the side walls: the rest of the soffit is entirely occupied by square pannels, in length and in depth. Above the chancel the pannelling is varied in form, and the central pannel is circular and pierced to make a sky-light, filled with a dove in painted glass, to throw additional light upon the grand eastern window. The decorations of the chancel are particularly grand, the side walls enriched with pannels, painted to imitate Sienna marble, with gold mouldings; the large eastern window is entirely filled with splendid paintings in stained glass, the subject of the lower tier of compartments being the |
and the upper
In corner is the name of the artist, and date, viz.
The altar screen occupies the space beneath the window; it is ornamented with columns and pilasters of the Doric order; over the centre is an elliptical pediment, in the tympanum of which is a painting of the sacramental cup; the screen is oak, with gold enrichments, the altar table of porphyry. Immediately over the altar and at the sides of the window, are handsome paintings, larger than life, of St. Andrew and St. Peter, and on smaller pannels above,
; it is observable that the embellishments of this altar are of a higher class than the general decorations of churches. At the west end of the nave is a gallery containing the organ, by Harris, which was set up in the Temple church, when the celebrated trial of skill between the builder and Father Smith took place. Additional galleries for charity children are erected at the sides of the instrument, but the paintings formerly existing there of
have been removed. The pulpit is hexagonal, and sustained on a group of cartouches diverging from a pillar as a centre; the sounding board is neat, and not so large as to be obtrusive; the pulpit with the desks are grouped on the south side of the nave. In a spacious pew beneath the western gallery, is the font, a handsome circular basin of white marble, enriched with cherubic heads, and sustained on a pillar of the same material. The windows on
| the east end of the aisles are also filled with painted glass. The southern contains the arms of John Thavie, esq. A. D. , viz.
on a bend, , garbes, or. a chief charged with a Roman T Crest on a wreath, a garb, or. Motto, This window is the work of William Price, in . The northern contains the arms of queen Anne, the crest of the prince of Wales, and the donor's arms, viz. party per , embattled or. and azurethree martletts countercharged, and beneath the following inscription :
A bench in the centre aisle is inscribed,
This church was built in , and the additions to the steeple in , sir Christopher Wren being the architect. The expense was ; the length is feet, the breadth , and the height . The tower is feet high.
There are several elegant modern monuments in this church. In the north aisle is an elegant marble tablet to the memory of W. Manley, esq. sergeant at law, who died , aged . Near it is a similar erected by the parish to the memory of the rev. T. G. Clare, B. D. rector of this parish, died , aged . In the gallery over the same aisle is a handsome monument consisting of Corinthian columns, supporting an arched pediment and arms, to the memory of John Manningham, bishop of Hereford.
Among the records of this parish, Mr. Malcolm found the following :--
In the reign of Henry VII. the churchwardens compelled
the priest, to pay for a fine for driving a cart across the church yard to the rectory.
Henry VIII. The little organs were made, and bought at the charges of the parish, and devotion of good people, and cost
The churchwardens of the parish sometimes (viz. in the year of Henry VIII.) took a woman's gown to pledge for their duties, belonging to the church, at a funeral!
 The tower was began in the 25th year of Henry the VI and the bells placed in the 35th year of the same king; it was not completed till the 7th or 8th of Edward IV.-Malcolm.