St Stephen's Church - Lewisham High Street, Lewisham, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 27.848 W 000° 00.636
30U E 707644 N 5705679
Quick Description: This 1856 church, by Sir George Gilbert Scott, is at the north end of Lewisham High Street on the east side close to Lewisham police station.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/30/2012 9:42:10 AM
Waymark Code: WMG0XM
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member razalas
Views: 2

Long Description:

The Church of England webiste [ visit link ] tells us about the building:

"Built: 1863 - 65
Architect: Sir George Gilbert Scott
Listing: grade 2

The Rev S R Davies, assistant priest of Lee, inherited money and decided to build a church. Scott was chosen as architect, and he was unlimited as to cost: £16,500 was spent. The church was begun in 1863, and consecrated on Easter eve, 1865. It was meant to have a tower and spire, but these were never built, owing to the nature of the site.

The walls are of Kentish rag, with Bath stone dressings: the detached shafts are of Mansfield stone. The style is Scott's thirteenth-century, with some French details— 'eclecticism of a chastened kind, and the union in some degree of the merits of the different styles'. The glass, all by Clayton and Bell, was mostly destroyed in the War. The reredos, by Charles Buckeridge, Scott's young and trusted assistant, was carved, by Redfern and decorated by Bell (1873). A faculty was given on 11 September 1875 for a chancel screen by James Brooks, and a south chapel, to which the reredos, removed from the chancel, was to be taken. A further faculty, 20 June 1899, gave leave for a new marble credence, and iron gates to the chapel; the architect was P A Robson.

The organ gallery was erected by Sir Charles Nicholson just before the Second World War. In 1952-3 the sanctuary was remodelled, and the reredos cleaned and painted. The east window, and windows of the south chapel, are by J E Nuttgens, 1954."

The church is Grade II listed and the entry at the English Heritage website [ visit link ] tells us:

"Parish church. 1856 by Sir George Gilbert Scott. Cruciform church with South porch. Early English style with paired and grouped lancets. Snecked random rubble with freestone dressings. High pitched, tiled roof to nave, aisles and South transept. Parapet to North transept where tower was intended. Large West portal has paired doors under cusped, pointed arches.

INTERIOR: 5-bay nave with high arcade on round piers with foliated capitals. 3-bay marble lined chancel. Roof loft but no screen. Fine embroidered banner. Some stained-glass by Clayton and Bell."

The Glasgow Sculpture website [visit link] tells us about Sir George Gilbert Scott:

"Born in Cawcott, Bucks, the son of the village Rector and builder, he trained with James Edmeston, 1827-31, and formed a partnership with W B Moffatt, 1834-45.

From then he worked independently, with his sons George and John Oldrid Scott as assistants.

Working almost exclusively in the Gothic style, he became one of the most succesful architects of his generation, but his unshakeable belief in the supremacy of Gothic over the Classical and Renaissance styles for public and collegiate buildings, together with his often conjectural 'restorations' of medieval churches, often resulted in controversy.

The 'Battle of the Styles' which raged between him and Lord Palmerston's government, after their rejection of his designs for the Foreign Office (1857) in preference for an Italian Renaissance alternative, dashed his hopes of gaining official recognition for Gothic as the state architectural style.

The battle was almost refought in Glasgow in the 1860s, when he was appointed to design Glasgow University (1864-70) in his favourite Gothic style, his opponents being the Classical and Renaissance minded Glasgow architects.

Led by Alexander 'Greek' Thomson , they argued that Gothic was a wholly inappropriate style for a modern Scottish educational institution and that Scott's overworked practice could only produce a second rate design.

However, having already set aside a florid Renaissance design by John Baird I (1846), the University Senate stuck to their guns and appointed Scott without further hesitation.

His finest Scottish buildings are St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh (1872-9) and the Albert Institute, Dundee (1865-7); whilst his St Mary's Episcopal Church (later Cathedral), Glasgow (1871-93) and Glasgow University (1864-71) were later completed and improved by John Oldrid Scott.

His most famous buildings in England are both in London, the Albert Memorial (1862-72), which incorporates his carved portrait (by J B Philip), and the Grand Midland Station and Hotel, St Pancras (1868-74), where his son George committed suicide in 1897.

His work outside Britain includes, the Nikolaikirche, Hamburg (1844-60), and St John's Cathedral, Newfoundland (1846).

Knighted in 1872, he served as RIBA President from 1873-5.

After his death, the firm passed to John Oldrid Scott and later to his grandson, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960), the architect of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral."

Architect: Sir George Gilber Scott

Prize received: RIBA Royal Gold Medal

In what year: 1859

Website about the Architect: [Web Link]

Website about the building: [Web Link]

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