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List Entry Summary

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


List entry Number: 1289727



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

County: Greater London Authority

District: Greenwich

District Type: London Borough


National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 08-Jun-1973

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 396510

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



II DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT: 1852-3 by Arthur Ashpitel. Reordered and kitchen, office, meeting space etc built within the W end 1999.

MATERIALS: Uncoursed ragstone with freestone dressings. Welsh slate roofs.

PLAN: Nave, N and S aisles, lower chancel and aisles, W tower and spire, N and S porches, organ chamber S of chancel, vestry N of it.

EXTERIOR: The church forms an important visual focus when viewed from the W, something which was no doubt intended by the developer and the architect. The style of the building is late medieval with Decorated and Perpendicular details taken from the C14 and C15 although the predominant character is Perpendicular. There is a landmark tower and spire. The former has large angle buttresses and is of four stages, the lowest of which contains a moulded W doorway with fleuron decoration and an ogee-headed, crocketed hood. On the second stage there is a four-light transomed window with a fusion of Perpendicular and Decorated tracery. The third stage has on the W, N and S faces a clock face under a triangular-headed canopy. This is followed by a frieze with shields below the belfry stage and a pair of two-light transomed windows. The top of the tower has large pinnacles at the corners and smaller ones in the intermediate positions. There is a SE octagonal stair turret. The ribbed spire rises behind a pierced parapet and has flying buttresses to the corner pinnacles on the tower. The aisles have four-light Perpendicular side windows and three-light ones at the E and W ends. There are porches on both sides, both of them two-storeyed, with that on the N having a demi-octagonal upper stage. In the nave there is a clerestory with three-light Perpendicular windows. At the E end of the chancel is a five-light window, similar in style to those in the aisles. Tall pinnacles rise from the corner of the chancel.

INTERIOR: The chief feature is the tall, four-bay arcading to the aisles and the very high clerestory over them. The arches are wide and their slender piers have continuous mouldings on the diagonals and half shafts between which carry small battlements at the top. The chancel arch is similar in detail to the side arcade arches. The nave is covered by a tie-beam roof with upright struts and cusping in the rectangular openings so formed. The intermediate trusses have a collar and two curved struts. The aisle roofs are of plain lean-to construction. At the W end the original W gallery has been removed and parish offices, kitchen etc have been inserted, fully occupying in the W bay and part of the second one from the W: this work was carried out in 1999. The central part of the structure has timber and glazing to the nave and a gallery over.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The pulpit is a florid Gothic one, three-sided and of stone with variegated pink marble in the shafts. It is probably to the original building as is the conventional octagonal font, resited at the E end of the N aisle. In chancel is a carved screen, panelling and mosaic and opus sectile reredos by H.S. Rogers. Stained glass by Heaton, Butler and Bayne occupies the second window from the E in the S aisle (d. 1900). The stained glass windows in the N aisle are mid-C20 replacements for ones blown out in the Second World War.

HISTORY: The area around the church was developed in early/mid Victorian times and St John¿s church was built as an important visual and spiritual focus on its island site. The architect, Arthur Ashpitel FSA (1807-69) was born in Hackney and commenced practice in 1842. He suffered ill-health after 1855 and travelled abroad but still kept up architectural practice. The style of the building ¿ Perpendicular - is unusual in that it became fairly unpopular for church-building after the mid-1840s when rather earlier styles of the late C13 and of c.1300 became fashionable. The church is a fine building showing the centrality of providing a dignified place of Anglican worship in an area of prestigious development in the early/mid Victorian period.

SOURCES: Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South (Harmondsworth, 1983), p 246. Antonia Brodie et al., Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, vol 1, 2001, pp 64-5

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St John the Evangelist, Greenwich, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * It is a stately example of early Victorian church-building which carefully follows medieval precedents. * It adds considerably to the local streetscape and, on its island site, forms a focal point of the area.

Selected Sources

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National Grid Reference: TQ 40294 77135


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End of official listing