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Gallery: Churches of North London
by Peter Kessler, 24 July 2011
Camden Part 4: Churches of St Pancras &
St Pancras Old Church stands on the eastern
side of Pancras Road, with St Pancras Station bordering it on the far
side. This may be one of the oldest Christian sites in the country.
Although there is little evidence, the original church is believed to
have existed since about AD 313. It was dedicated to the Roman martyr,
Saint Pancras, killed about AD 304. Built immediately to the west of
the River Fleet, which often flooded the area, it had a Saxon altar
dating from AD 600.
The chancel was probably rebuilt in 1350, when the
medieval parish stretched almost as far as Oxford Street and Highgate.
Later that century the area was abandoned in favour of Kentish Town. The
church fell into disrepair. St Pancras New Church was built in 1822 (below)
and the old church became a chapel of ease. Now derelict, in 1847-1848 it
was heavily restored by Gough and Roumieu for St Pancras' new urban
population. Only traces of Norman masonry survived.
Christ Church Chalton Street stood on the
eastern side of Chalton Street, about sixty metres (yards) south of
Phoenix Road in Somers Town, to the immediate west of St Pancras Church.
It was built in 1868 to fill the void left by the loss of St Luke Euston
Road. The church was in the Gothic style with iron columns, designed by
Newman & Billing. It was destroyed by bombing during the war. The north
wall, chancel walls and part of the tower stood until the early 1950s.
St Mary the Virgin Somers Town is at the south-east
corner of Eversholt Street (formerly Seymour Street and Upper Seymour Street)
and Aldenham Street in St Pancras. This was a Commissioners church, designed
by Henry W & William Inwood in what was known as 'Carpenter's Gothic'. It
was built in 1822-1824, although some sources show 1824-1827, and even 1852.
The chancel was added by Ewan Christian in 1878, while in 1888 the galleries
St Aloysius Catholic Church occupies the south-east
corner of Eversholt Street and Phoenix Road in Somers Town. The area was heavily
occupied by refugees from the French Revolution, who sought cheap accommodation
and a Catholic church. The original church was built by the Abbé Carron in 1808,
as a successor to a chapel in nearby Chalton Street which had been founded in 1798.
The present church building was erected in 1968 and consecrated on 24 May 1992.
St Pancras New Church is at the south-east corner
of Euston Road and Upper Woburn Place at the northern edge of Bloomsbury.
The original St Pancras Church (above) was replaced by this one as the parish
church. It was designed by Henry W & William Inwood in a Greek revival
style and was the most expensive of its time. The building was consecrated in
1822. It served the newly-built areas around the Euston Road and parts of the
well-off Bloomsbury area.
The crypt, which contains almost five hundred burials, was
closed in 1854, but served as an air raid shelter during both world wars. In
the second it sustained some damage and was closed to deal with dry rot and
structural failings in 1951-1952. The apse has a ring of six Ionic columns. The
gallery extends round rest of the church and is supported at the west end by
a further six Ionic columns. The stained glass is by Clayton & Bell. The
North Chapel was added in 1970.
Friends House Central Office (Quakers) fills a
large plot at the south-eastern corner of Euston Road and Gordon Street,
opposite Euston Station. The building serves as the headquarters of the
Society of Friends, and was constructed in 1927 to designs by Irish
architect Hubert Lidbetter. It has a long neo-Classical frontage on Euston
Road, with a massive central Doric colonnade (shown here) which originally
reflected the grand proportions of Euston Station's Victorian arch.
All Saints Gordon Square was formerly located
on the western side of Gordon Street, approximately thirty metres
north of Gordon Square in the Bloomsbury district. The church was
opened in 1843, but by 1909 it was closed, its parish united with
that of St Pancras (see above). Probably demolished in 1909, a
tablet was taken from the church and placed in St Pancras Church. It
read; 'The Revd. Henry Hughes MA 1852, "the founder and first
minister of this Church"'.
Christ the King Catholic Apostolic Church stands
at the north-west corner of Byng Place and Gordon Square, overlooking the
southern end of the square itself. The vast church is the focal point for
the movement called the 'Catholic Apostolic Church', a Victorian movement
founded in 1833 by Edward Irving (1792-1834). The church was designed by
J Raphael Brandon and stands as a fine example of the Gothic Revival style,
although it was never completed.