The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3
Allhallows Church, Bread-street.
This church received its name from being dedicated to all the saints, and its situation. It is a rectory of very ancient foundation; the patronage of which was originally in the prior and canons of Christ-church in Canterbury, who remained patrons of it till the year , when it was conveyed to the archbishop of Canterbury and his successors, in whom it still continues, and is of the peculiars belonging to that see in the city of London.
The old church being destroyed by the fire of London in , the present edifice was erected in , at the expense of the public.
This church is situated on the east side of , the principal front abutting on that street, and the north front upon : the plan is parallelogram, with a square tower at the south-west angle comprehended within it. The west front of the church has arched windows in series; the key stones of the upper range are carved with cherubs, and the arches are surmounted with cornices resting on consoles. In the lower story of the tower is an entrance surmounted by an elliptical pediment, and above are circular windows; the next story has an arched window, with festoons of flowers over the head, and the story has in each face a triple arcade; the arches are sustained upon pilasters, and the key-stones are carved into fierce-looking masks: the elevation is finished with a ballustrade. Over a cornice at the angles, are crocketted pinnacles, whimsically enough borrowed from the pointed style; of which they are, however, poor copies, and show the difficulty of engrafting the detail of style upon another. The north front of the church is in heights; the upper has a series of windows with arched heads, the keystones carved with cherubs heads, and in the basement story are entrances; of which, as well as of the windows, is walled up. The east wall has no window or opening, except a small door-way at the southern angle. The portions described are all faced with stone. The south side of the church is concealed from view by the houses built against it. The entrance at the west end leads into a vestibule : the breadth of the front part of which is formed in the basement story of the tower; the latter portion has semicircular arches and is domed over; from this, by means of porches, the body of the church is approached; it is very plain, having neither columns nor arches. The ceiling is horizontal, coved at the sides, the covings pierced with arches; above the windows, which rest upon imposts, enriched with acanthus
|leaves. The centre of the ceiling forms large pannel encircled with mouldings. The altar is adorned with a screen, bearing the usual inscriptions, and painted in imitation of antique marbles; it consists of a centre and wings, the former enriched with an eliptical pediment sustained on Corinthian columns, with gilt capitals, and the entablature of the order above the whole; and inclosed in the head of a false arch, formed in the wall, are the royal arms. In the north wall of the church is an arched recess, which contains in its basement the vestry, covered with a gallery. In consequence of this intrusion, of the windows are converted into circles: the other windows, in number and form, resemble those in the opposite wall of the building. There is also a gallery across the west end of the church, containing the organ; it is singularly enough supported on a single Corinthian pillar in the centre, in the adoption of which, utility seems to have been studied rather than ornament. The pulpit and desks are attached to the north wall. The former is hexagonal and executed in carved oak. The christening pew is situated under the western gallery. The font is a plain octangular basin of white marble, on a pillar of the same form and material. The pewing of this church is rather singularly, but with great attention to propriety, arranged on each side of a broad walk in the centre of the church, leaving an uninterrupted view of the altar. On the doors of the churchwardens' pews are painted the arms of the archbishop and the dean and chapter of Canterbury. This building is feet in length, in breadth, in height, and the tower and pinnacles are feet high. The body was erected under the direction of sir Christopher Wren, in , and the steeple in , at the expence of|
There are no monuments in this church worthy of notice. It is generally believed that the remains of that eminent scholar, sir Isaac Newton, is buried in this church.