The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
St. Michael, Queenhithe.
On the north side of , the east end abutting on , and directly opposite to , is situated the parish church of St. Michael, ; so called from its dedication to St. Michael the Archangel, and its situation near that hithe, or port. It was formerly called St. Michael de Cornhithe, all the corn brought to London from the western parts of the country being landed here. The earliest authentic mention of this church is in the year , when Stephen Spilman, who had served the offices of alderman, sheriff, and chamberlain, died and left part of his goods to found a chantry here.
The patronage of this church is in the dean and chapter of , but is subject to the archdeacon. On its being rebuilt, the parish of Trinity the Less was annexed to it; and the patronage of the latter being in the dean and chapter of Canterbury, they and the dean and chapter of present alternately to the united living.
The plan is an oblong square; the tower at the west end. The elevation is handsome and possesses a superior character.
The west end is half occupied by the tower, and half by a vestibule. The former is in stories ; in the are arched windows, and in the upper story a square-headed , which is repeated in every face of the structure; the elevation is finished with a parapet, having a pine apple at each angle. A leaded spire rises above the parapet, it consists of steps sustaining a square pedestal, with windows in each side, surmounted by an obelisk, finished with a vane in the form of a ship. The remainder of the
|western elevation of the church contains several small windows lighting the porch, and it is finished with a ballustrade; the south side of the porch has a doorway, surmounted by an elliptical pediment, over which is a window, and the elevation is finished with a ballustrade. The north elevation of the church is divided in the upright into stories: the lower is a plain stylobate, the upper contains semicircular headed windows; a cornice broken by the openings, crowns the piers between the windows, and serves as an impost to the arched heads; a tier of windows, being entire circles, are formed immediately over the heads of the others, resting upon the sculptured keystones; each window in the lower tier has a double wreath of foliage above its head; the elevation is finished with a cornice of great projection, surmounted by a leaded parapet. The east front only differs from the north in extent; it has but windows in each tier, the central ones being walled up. The north side is partially built against; the part which is open abuts on a small church-yard, and has windows as before, in each tier. In the north front of the tower is a lintelled entrance; in other respects this aspect is a copy of the western.|
A stone forming of the quoins of the south-eastern angle of the building, probably the stone of the superstructure, and which had been laid with ceremony, bears the following inscription:--
The interior is plain, and unbroken by columns or arches; the porch at the south side of the tower leads into a spacious vestibule, occupying the vacancy beneath the organ gallery, now parted from the church by a screen. The ceiling is coved and pierced with arches above the upper range of windows, which spring from corbels formed of the upper portion of a Corinthian column; the centre of the ceiling is horizontal, forming a large pannel bounded by mouldings, the soffit enriched with a spiral wreath of leaves. The altar-screen, until the last repair, (A. D. ) was a painting of an architectural composition in the style of St. Bartholomew the Great, with the inscription SURSAM CORDA; the present is composed of Corinthian pillars sustaining an entablature, the intercolumniations occupied with the usual inscriptions, and the whole painted in imitation of marble. A gallery crosses the west end, with a plain front, it contains a handsome organ; beneath the gallery is the font in a ballustrade; it is a handsome octangular basin of statuary marble, enriched with
|cherubic heads, and the outer surface nearly covered with flowers and fruit in relief; the cover is oak. The pulpit is hexagonal, with a sounding board of the same form; it is affixed to the northern wall of the church, and below it are the reading and clerk's desks. The internal door-cases of the principal and a secondary entrance, at the east end of the north side, are enriched with pilasters of the Corinthian order.|
The architect of this church was sir Christopher Wren: the expense to the nation of rebuilding it, after the great fire, was
The dimensions are, length feet, breadth feet, height , and height of steeple feet.
There are no monuments worthy of notice in this church.
 Described ante, p. 636.