History Files


Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Central London

by Peter Kessler, 16 October 2011

City of Westminster Part 12: Churches of Marylebone

Church of St Paul, Robert Adam Street, City of Westminster, London

St Paul Robert Adam Street is on the northern side of Robert Adam Street, close to the junction with Manchester Street. St Paul Portman Square was demolished or perhaps lost to bombing in the twentieth century (see sidebar links). This present replacement was built further along Robert Adam Street as Portman Chapel in 1970. It became a chapel-of-ease in the parish of All Souls Langham Place in 1988, whilst also gaining the name of its lost predecessor.

St James' Roman Catholic Church, Spanish Place, City of Westminster, London

St James' Roman Catholic Church Spanish Place is on the north side of George Street, close to Marylebone High Street. In the late 1600s the bishops of Ely let St Etheldreda Ely to the Spanish ambassador. After the Restoration, a new chapel was built on the corner of Spanish Place and Charles Street (now George Street). In 1827 the Spanish connection ceased and the leased land lapsed. In 1890 the present church was built immediately opposite the old chapel.

Hinde Street Methodist Church, City of Westminster, London

Hinde Street Methodist Church is on the north-east corner of Thayer Street and Hinde Street. The first chapel on this site was opened in 1810 by members from Chandler Street Methodist Chapel (just south of Oxford Street and now apparently lost). It was described as one of the ugliest chapels in Methodism but survived possible closure in 1850. In 1887 the present church opened on the same site and was described as the most handsome chapel in London.

St Mary's Parish Church, Marylebone Lane, City of Westminster, London

St Mary Parish Church stood on the corner of Marylebone Lane and Tyburn Lane (now Oxford Street). The church was built in 1200 but no description of its appearance seems to have survived. It was probably a typical Norman stone church. It was demolished by about 1400 and replaced by a new St Mary's Church built at the northern end of Marylebone High Road. This was also later replaced, by the present St Marylebone Parish Church on Marylebone Road.

St Peter's Church, Vere Street, City of Westminster, London

St Peter's Church Vere Street stands at the south-east corner of Vere Street and Henrietta Place. The church was opened in 1724 as Oxford Chapel, built by Edward Harley, Second Earl of Oxford, to a design by James Gibbs. More usually known as Marylebone Chapel, in 1952 it became a chapel of ease, attached to All Souls Church Langham Place (see below). In 1983, once deconsecrated, it became the home of The Institute for Contemporary Christianity.

Castle Street Welsh Baptist Church, City of Westminster, London

Castle Street Welsh Baptist Church (Eglwys Gymraeg Canol Llundain, in Welsh) occupies a narrow three-storey plot midway along the northern side of Eastcastle Street, almost opposite Winsley Street which leads to Oxford Street. The church was built in 1859 by the London Baptist Association, but it may have been rebuilt in 1889, as this date is carried on the front of the building. Heavily decorated and ornamented at the front, it seats at least four hundred persons.

All Saints, Margaret Street, City of Westminster, London

All Saints Margaret Street stands in a confined plot on the northern side of Margaret Street, midway between Great Titchfield Street and Wells Street in Fitzrovia. Margaret Street Chapel was built on the site in 1788 as a meeting house for Lady Huntingdon's connection. The present Gothic church was built in 1859 by the architect William Butterfield. It is hailed as one of the greatest expressions of the Gothic Revival, although little of it is visible from the street.

Jesus Centre, Margaret Street, City of Westminster, London

The Jesus Centre is on the south-west corner of Margaret Street and the narrow Marylebone Passage, almost directly opposite All Saints Margaret Street (see above). Established in 2002, most Jesus Centres are places in which the local Jesus Fellowship Church (known also as the Jesus Army) meets and worships, with a daily programme of church and social events. They also heavily promote working with disadvantaged groups created by the failings of modern society.

Happy Science, Margaret Street, City of Westminster, London

Happy Science is on the northern side of Margaret Street, opposite Marylebone Passage. Happy Science was created in Japan in 1986 by Ryuho Okawa, a former student of law and finance who founded his own religion. He claims to be a reincarnation of Buddha and offers the road to eternal peace. The cult has at least thirty-two temples in Japan and many others worldwide including this one in London. Its original name, Kofuku-no-Kagaku, was Anglicised in 2008.

Church of St Andrew, Wells Street, City of Westminster, London

St Andrew Wells Street formerly stood at the south-east corner of Wells Street and Booth's Place (on the left of this photo), the latter leading to Wells Mews. The church opened in 1847. In 1932 it was closed, deconsecrated and dismantled so that it could be re-erected as St Andrew Kingsbury in Wembley. Nearby was Providence Chapel, a place of worship for Independents. The building was destroyed by fire in 1810 and the site became a timber yard.

Nine photos on this page by P L Kessler, and one kindly contributed by Sam Weller.



Images and text copyright © all contributors mentioned on this page. An original feature for the History Files.