Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

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

Greater London Authority
Greenwich (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 43079 77117


786/0/10158 ACADEMY ROAD 17-JUL-03 Church of St Michael and All Angels, O ld Royal Military Academy

GV II Originally chapel to Royal Military Academy, later garrison church. Foundation stone laid in 1902 by Earl Roberts and completed in 1904 to the designs of Major Hemming of the Royal Engineers. Perpendicular style and cruciform plan. Red brick in Flemish bond with stone dressings and slate roof with octagonal lead cupola and weathervane. Five bay nave, lower one bay chancel, west porch, transepts with further entrances and vestry to north transept. EXTERIOR: West front has a large arched window flanked by octagonal brick and stone turrets and a square porch with buttresses and elliptical arch. Nave has triple cinquefoil windows under elliptical arches and are divided by buttresses. Gabled transepts, the south transept with offset buttresses and door flanked by sidelights in west side. The north transept has two tall octagonal crenellated turrets with a vestry below, vestry entrance to the east and and a further splayed entrance into the church to the west for the use of soldier staff of the Academy and their families. Chancel has arched and traceried east window and offset buttresses. INTERIOR: Wooden hammerbeam roof supported on stone corbels. West window has stained glass of 1920 by Christopher Whall which has a representation of the front parade of the Royal Military Academy, the motto "QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT" and soldiers in various historical dress paying homage to the Virgin and Child. Oak panelled lower walls. Originally the church had seats rather than pews which were fitted in c1934. Fretted Perpendicular style screen with marble base and memorials up two marble steps and attached to the screen is an octagonal carved pulpit with marble base with memorials. The chancel has carved oak choir stalls, gallery to the north and organ chamber to the south. There is a memorial to the south in the form of an oriel window to Herbert Jones Fleming, 1911-1914 and 1918-22. To the north chancel wall is an attached oval marble of St Michael vanquishing the devil. The Sanctuary has a marble floor and railings with cast iron scrollwork balustrading and wooden handrail. Elaborate panelling incorporating three sedilia with elaborate canopies to left and two similar to right. The wooden reredos and east window form the Addiscombe Memorial of 1906-07. The reredos depicts Christ in Majesty flanked by St Thomas, Joshua, St Bartholomew and Longinus. The side windows to the Sanctuary have to the north St Michael and St Raphael and to the south St Uriel and St Gabriel. A particular interest is the wealth of memorials to alumni of the royal Military Academy, mainly tablets in the oak panelling to the north and south walls of the nave. By the pulpit is a memorial to Christopher Chevenix Trench who died of a fever in South Africa, a bronze statue with shield and octagonal canopy. There is a brass plaque to the memory of Richard Henry Jelf d.1913, Governor of the Royal Military Academy and responsible for getting the chapel built. There are tablets to Earl Kitchener of Khartoum, Col. Commandant of the Royal Engineers, Field Marshall Earl Roberts of Kandahar and a plaque to General Sir Robert Mansergh, Adjutant at the Royal Military Academy. A brass Kohina memorial of 1944 was brought here from Africa in 1981. There are numerous other memorial tablets. HISTORY: The chapel was built for the Gentleman cadets of the royal Military Academy because until 1904 they had to use the Garrison Church of St George at the east end of the Front Parade which was a mile away and not very convenient. The estimated cost was o5000, the architect Major E H Hemming RE and the work supervised by the Commander Royal Engineers Woolwich. Until the closure of the Royal Military Academy in 1939 the chapel provided for the spiritual needs of the Gentleman Cadets destined for the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers and Royal Signals. When the Garrison Church of St George was destroyed by a German flying bomb in 1944 this chapel became the Garrison Church. Besides being a place of worship, the chapel was always intended to be a "campo Santo" for memorials to those trained at the Academy who had died in the service of their country, and the many rolls of honour and inscribed brass or copper plates attest to this role.

[BOE London:South p289.]


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

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