TOWER OF FORMER CHURCH OF ST AUGUSTINE

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
I
List Entry Number:
1079121
Date first listed:
04-Jan-1950
Date of most recent amendment:
10-Nov-1977
Statutory Address:
TOWER OF FORMER CHURCH OF ST AUGUSTINE, ST PAUL'S CHURCHYARD EC4

Map

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Location

Statutory Address:
TOWER OF FORMER CHURCH OF ST AUGUSTINE, ST PAUL'S CHURCHYARD EC4

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Greater London Authority
District:
City and County of the City of London (London Borough)
Parish:
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:
TQ 32150 81110

Details



627/9/214 ST PAUL'S CHURCHYARD EC4 04-JAN-50 TOWER OF FORMER CHURCH OF ST AUGUSTINE (Formerly listed as: WATLING STREET (OLD CHANGE) REMAINS OF CHURCH OF ST AUGUSTINE)

GV I Church tower rebuilt 1680-4 and completed in 1695-6, by Christopher Wren with a spire designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor; church body destroyed in 1941 and spire of 1830 reconstructed by Paul Paget of Seely and Paget, 1966. Square plan.

EXTERIOR: Portland stone tower in three stages with oculus at second stage and rectangular belfry apertures at the third stage, this capped with a cornice, a lacy Baroque pierced parapet and corner pinnacles of Baroque obelisks. Rising behind this is the lead spire, restored in 1967 to Hawksmoor's original design, and featuring curved brackets rising to an open stage with urns and the distinctive elongated onion dome. To the south is a pedimented door, and to the east, exposed rubble walling and quoins at lower stage.

Attached to the north is the Grade II* St Paul's Cathedral Choir School (q.v.) of 1962-7 by the Architects' Co-partnership.

INTERIOR: Stages of the tower include a full height open well stair cases that serves as a fire escape for the attached school. Ladder stair into spire not inspected.

HISTORY: The church had been rebuilt 1680-4 following the Great Fire of 1666, and the tower was completed in 1695-6 with a tall leaded spire that was modified in 1830. However, the body and spire were destroyed in 1941 bombing and a 1953 photograph shows all that remained standing were the bottom two stages of the tower with its four Baroque obelisk finials. In 1966, the spire was reconstructed according to its original design by Paul Paget of Seely and Paget. Drawings survive in the hand of Nicholas Hawksmoor to show that he designed the original spire, with its brackets rising to an open stage with urns and the distinctive elongated onion dome. His drawing c.1695, however, shows the onion dome as an elongated pineapple with the crown serving as an extra finial. This design, but with the onion, not the pineapple, is largely what we see today, although it is an immaculate post-war reconstruction.

The adjacent school was built in 1962-67 and the brief dictated that the new building should incorporate the restored spire of St Augustine and that no part of the school would be higher than its cornice.

SOURCES: Simon Bradley and Nikolaus Pevsner. The Buildings of England. London: The City Churches. Yale University Press, 1998. p.61.

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: A 1695-6 Wren tower with post-war restored Hawksmoor spire that forms an ensemble of outstanding special interest. It is one the more admired City church spires with its spire culminating in the distinctive elongated onion dome. It has particularly strong group value being the closest of the City Churches to Wren's Cathedral. Although the most characteristic feature is post-war in date, and the church body is now lost, it remains a special landmark tower, both for its original design and for its strong relationship with St Paul's.

Listing NGR: TQ3215081110

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
199745
Legacy System:
LBS

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 01 Oct 2000
Reference: IOE01/01995/33
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Bob Manekshaw. Source Historic England Archive
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