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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Central London

by Peter Kessler, 16 October 2011

 

 

City of Westminster Part 11: Churches of Knightsbridge & Marylebone

St Paul Knightsbridge

St Paul Knightsbridge occupies a large plot on the eastern side of Wilton Place, midway down the street from the junction with Knightsbridge. The early Victorian church was consecrated in 1843, at which time it was known as St Paul Wilton Row. The elaborate and highly decorated building was the first church in London to champion the ideals of the 'Oxford Movement' which sought to bring back a more Catholic, elaborate tradition of worship to Anglican churches.

St Paul Knightsbridge

Tiled panels around the walls of the nave, created in the 1870s by Daniel Bell, depict scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. The chancel with its rood screen and striking reredos was added in 1892 by the eminent church architect G F Bodley, who was also responsible for at least forty-three new church builds. The fourteen stations of the Cross that intersperse the tiled panels, painted in the early 1920s by Gerald Moira, show scenes from the Crucifixion story.

German Church (Deutsche Evangelische Christuskirche)

The German Church (Deutsche Evangelische Christuskirche) stands on the northern side of Montpelier Place, midway along it, in Knightsbridge. A Lutheran congregation was formed in the 1660s for the German and Scandinavian merchant community in the City of London. The first building was erected on the former site of Holy Trinity the Less, and this was replaced in the 1860s by the Hamburg Lutheran Church in Dalston. The current church opened in 1904.

Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God & All Saints Russian Orthodox Church

The Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God & All Saints Russian Orthodox Church lies on the eastern side of Ennismore Gardens, facing onto Rutland Gate to the east. It was built to serve as All Saints Church Ennismore Gardens and was opened in 1849. It closed in 1955. In 1977 the building was purchased by the Sourozh Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, but in 2007 was the subject of a potential take-over by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints sits boldly on the south-east corner of the busy Exhibition Road and Prince Consort Road, opposite the Science Museum. The building was dedicated in 1961. With its gilded spire and cleaned and whitened concrete it is perhaps one of the few bright points of sixties architecture. Until the seventies the building also served as the headquarters of the Mormon Church in Britain, and still provides family history resources.

Holy Trinity Knightsbridge with All Saints Church

Holy Trinity Knightsbridge with All Saints Church occupies a slot on the northern side of Prince Consort Road, midway between Queen's Gate and the southern entrance to the Royal Albert Hall. Originally the chapel of a leper hospital, the church was rebuilt in 1609 and was known as Knightsbridge Chapel. This chapel of ease gained a parish in 1866, and was replaced in 1901 by the present building, designed by architect George Frederick Bodley.

The Parish Church of the Annunciation Bryanston Street

The Parish Church of the Annunciation Bryanston Street stands on the narrow north-west corner of Bryanston Street and Old Quebec Street. A chapel of ease known as the Quebec Chapel originally stood here from 1787. This was replaced by the present Gothic building, designed by Walter Tapper, in 1911. Tapper also designed many of the features including the magnificent reredos which was painted by Jack Bewsey who also designed most of the stained glass.

Western Marble Arch Synagogue

Western Marble Arch Synagogue is at 32 Great Cumberland Place, roughly at the southern centre of the semi-circular drive on the eastern side of Great Cumberland Place. Generally known as Marble Arch, the synagogue came into existence in 1991 as a result of the successful merger between the Western Synagogue (founded on Great Pulteney Street in 1761 as the Westminster Synagogue) and the Marble Arch Synagogue (founded in 1957 on the present site).

St Thomas Orchard Street

St Thomas Orchard Street stood at an uncertain location on Portman Square, somewhere along the short run of Orchard Street, which links Oxford Street to Portman Square. Almost no information is available on the church. It was opened in 1858, but closed less than a century later, perhaps in 1930. There are two buildings on Orchard Street which may stand on the church's former site. One is very recent, to the north of the photo (to the left), while this one is post-war.

St Paul Portman Square

St Paul Portman Square stood at the corner of Robert Adam Street (although just which corner, north or south, is uncertain), on the eastern side of Baker Street. The first building here was Portman Chapel, built in 1779 as a proprietary chapel for the Portman Estate. It became the parish church of St Paul in 1899, but in its later years it was reduced to a chapel of ease and its parish united with that of All Souls Langham Place. Its date of closure and demolition is uncertain.

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