St Gabriel's Church Warwick Square sits on the
south-east corner of St George's Drive and Sussex Street in Pimlico.
The church was one of those which was built as part of Thomas Cubitt's
development of the area on behalf of the marquis of Westminster between
1840-1860. St Saviour's was another such church. St Gabriel's was built
between 1852-1853 in the Gothic style to a design by Thomas Cundy, Cubitt's
foreman, using Kentish ragstone with Caen stone dressings.
The church gained a parish from part of that of St George,
Hanover Square, and was consecrated on 12 May 1853. It is a middle-pointed
building with a graceful tower of just under forty-nine metres (160 feet).
In 1855 eight bells were fitted. The use of ragstone, which is vulnerable to
London's polluted air, meant that the tower started to deteriorate as early
as 1887 when, after a falling stone nearly killed a member of the congregation,
it had to be taken down and rebuilt.
Chelsea Barracks Chapel was part of the barracks
site which formerly fronted Chelsea Bridge Road, while the chapel itself
looks out onto Ranelagh Grove, at the back of the premises. The chapel was
built after the Crimean War, in 1859, part of the 'Italian medieval'-style
self-contained military village, to a design by George Morgan. It was
deconsecrated in the early 1990s, and by 2010 it was all that remained after
the barracks had been bulldozed to make way for housing.
St Barnabas Pimlico is on the south-east corner of
Pimlico Road and St Barnabas Street, on the border between Belgravia, Chelsea
and Pimlico. The church was consecrated on St Barnabas' Day in 1850 amid
considerable controversy caused by accusations of 'Popery in Pimlico'. Its
style is Early English Gothic and the architect was Thomas Cundy. It was the
first church built in England where the ideals of the new Anglo-Catholic
movement were embodied in its architecture.
Inside is the Shrine of St Barnabas, erected as a memorial
to the Reverend G C Rawlinson, who served there for nearly twenty years. Four
windows of saints associated with Britain by Walter Tower grace the nave. They
include St Edward the Confessor, patron saint of Westminster, and St Osmond,
the Norman bishop who built the cathedral at Old Sarum. The spire was rebuilt
in 2006-2007 after a masonry fall in 2004 and is now of Portland stone instead
of softer Caen stone.
St Philip Buckingham Palace Road stood about here,
on the south-west corner of Buckingham Palace Road and Semley Place. The site,
now Belgravia Police Station, is shown from the Edbury Square side, and it
seems the most likely spot for the church's location. It was consecrated in
1888 and gained its own parish two years later. It was closed due to war
damage, probably in 1946, and was demolished in 1953. Its parish was united
with St Michael Chester Square (below).
St Michael Chester Square stands on the north-east
corner of Chester Square and Elizabeth Street in Belgravia. The square was
planned in 1828 and built from about 1835 as part of Belgravia and Pimlico's
Grosvenor Estate. The church was not part of the original scheme. A plan of
1840 marks the area as 'intended mews' for the houses in Elizabeth Street.
This is the reason for the unusual shape of the site and the west door opening
surprisingly close to the back of houses.
The change of plan was probably due to the demolition of
the Chapel of the Lock Hospital in Grosvenor Place in 1842, which left
the new residents of the area without a place of worship. The architect was
Thomas Cundy Junior, and the church, of stock brick faced with Kentish ragstone
and Bath stone dressings in decorated Gothic style, was opened in 1846. Thanks
to the constricted site, the church is almost square, with a short, three bay
nave and a shallow chancel.
The Parish of St Peter Eaton Square occupies the
north-west corner of Upper Belgrave Street and Hobart Place, in the northern
part of Belgravia. The church was built between 1824-1827 at a time when
Eaton Square itself was first being developed. The design was by architect
Henry Hakewill in the Classical style. The portico consists of six ionic
columns overlooked by a small tower with clock. Inside, the church had a
functional preaching box which was typical of the period.
The original church burnt down and was rebuilt from the
original drawings by one of the sons of the original architect. Sir Arthur
Blomfield oversaw its enlargement in 1875, during which the interior was
reordered to add a Romanesque chancel at the west end. In 1987, the church
was burnt to a shell by an anti-Catholic arsonist who mistook it for a
Catholic chapel. Local architects John and Nicki Braithwaite were given the
job of completely redesigning and rebuilding the church.