St Matthew's Westminster is on the
northern side of Great Peter Street, with access to the east
onto St Anne's Street. With the population of Westminster growing
rapidly in the eighteenth century St John Smith Square was built,
but it became apparent that this was not enough. The area around
Great Peter Street had deteriorated by the 1840s and people lived
in poor conditions. In response, as one of four new regional
churches, St Matthew's was built in 1849.
Sir George Gilbert Scott supplied the design.
Consecrated in 1851, it was later enriched with fittings and glass
by G F Bodley, C E Kempe & Co, and others. The money was never
found to add the proposed spire to the tower, but the Lady Chapel
is one of Sir Ninian Compers' finest early works. Gutted by fire
in 1977 the church was reconstructed to a reduced plan and
rededicated in 1984. The new parish centre now obscures the church
on the corner with St Ann's Street.
Westminster Baptist Church occupies a
plot on the northern side of Horseferry Road, approximately fifty
metres east of the junction with Regency Street. The church was
founded in 1807, although the premises which it occupied at that
date are unknown. The church moved to the current site in 1935,
perhaps converting this building from secular use. In 2009 the
building was renovated. Unfortunately, little data is available on
the church or the buildings it has owned.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church is on the
northern side of Horseferry Road, opposite Regency Street, a few
doors west of the Baptist church. It was built as Westminster
Wesleyan Chapel about 1874. In 1927 it was sold and donated by
the new owner to the archdiocese of Westminster. In 1939 plans were
submitted for the Convent of the Sacred Heart to be built but the
church was destroyed on 14 March 1944 by enemy action. It was
reconstructed in 1962-1963.
The Church of St Mary the Virgin Tothill
Fields (sometimes referred to as Tothill Fields Church)
stood on the western corner of Vincent Square, a large space of
ground covering about ten acres which once formed part of Tothill
Fields. The church was consecrated in October 1837 to the designs
of Edward Blore, and gained its own parish in 1843. Probably due
to falling attendances it closed in 1923 and was demolished. Today
only the entrance gateposts remain.
St Stephen Rochester Row stands on the
eastern side of Rochester Row, between Rochester Street and Vincent
Square, opposite a row of almshouses. The church was built between
1847-1850 by Miss Angela Burdett-Coutts, of the Coutts banking family,
as a memorial to her father, with encouragement from Charles Dickens,
her friend. The church, in fourteenth century Decorated Gothic style,
was designed by the architect Benjamin Ferrey, a pupil of the elder
A tower and spire were added on the northern
side, nearly sixty-one metres high. A ring of eight bells was cast
by Charles and George Mears in 1850 and was hung in the new tower
in a new frame. The bells were donated to the church by Angela
Burdett-Coutts (later to become a baroness). These bells were
replicated in the ring at New Westminster Cathedral, Canada, and
were also given by Baroness Burdett-Coutts (although they have
since been destroyed).
Christ Church Broadway lay on the northern
side of Victoria Street, on the western corner with Broadway. As early
as the thirteenth century St Mary Magdalene Chapel stood in the
area then known as Tutle or Tothill Fields. During the Dissolution the
chapel and lands in Tothill Fields were placed under the control of
Westminster Abbey. By 1598 the chapel was apparently ruinous. The
New Chapel was built in December 1626, but it only opened in
During the Commonwealth period the chapel was
used as a stables and a jail, unconsecrated until after the
Restoration. By the early 1800s it had fallen into disrepair and
was demolished. Christ Church Broadway was built on the site,
designed by early Gothic revival architect Ambrose Poynter.
Consecrated in 1843, on 17 April 1941 it was gutted by German
incendiaries. The remnants were demolished in 1954 and just part
of the churchyard retained as the present park.
Westminster Chapel is on the southern
side of Buckingham Gate, opposite Petty France. It is home to an
Evangelical church that has been based in Central London since
1840. The present building was opened on 6 July 1865, founded by
Congregationalists. It was pastored by the late Dr D Martyn
Lloyd-Jones in 1939-1968. During this period the church resigned
from the Congregational Union in favour of the Fellowship of
Independent Evangelical Churches.