GATE PIERS AND RAILINGS TO THE CHURCHYARD OF THE FORMER CHURCH OF ST JOHN

Overview

Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1393615

Date first listed: 17-Dec-2009

Statutory Address: GATE PIERS AND RAILINGS TO THE CHURCHYARD OF THE FORMER CHURCH OF ST JOHN, FAIR STREET

Map

Ordnance survey map of GATE PIERS AND RAILINGS TO THE CHURCHYARD OF THE FORMER CHURCH OF ST JOHN
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Location

Statutory Address: GATE PIERS AND RAILINGS TO THE CHURCHYARD OF THE FORMER CHURCH OF ST JOHN, FAIR STREET

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

County: Greater London Authority

District: Southwark (London Borough)

National Grid Reference: TQ 33470 79932, TQ 33499 79902

Reasons for Designation

The gates, gate-piers and railings at St John's churchyard are designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons: * They are a good and well-preserved (if relatively plain) example of late-Georgian ironwork. * Their relation to the listed Watch House, and also to the Vicarage and the remains of St John's Church, gives them considerable group value. * With the Watch House, they are of historical interest as reflections of the enhanced security arrangements in late-Georgian London churchyards.

Details



636-1/0/10126 FAIR STREET 17-DEC-09 Gate piers and railings to the churchy ard of the former church of St John

GV II Railings, gates and gate-piers, early/mid-C19. MATERIALS: iron (probably wrought iron) and Portland stone.

DESCRIPTION: Two sets of railings, one to the north-west of the Watch House and one to the south-east, the latter containing double gates and gate piers as well as a smaller wicket gate. The railings have close-set uprights of square section with spear-shaped finials set into a chamfered Portland stone base. Arrow-shaped dog-bars are set between the feet of the uprights, and small open roundels between their necks. Above and below the latter run two flat horizontal bands, forming a continuous top rail. At approximately 3m intervals, groups of four uprights are merged to form pilasters, each containing two stacks of ten roundels with inset stamped crosses, separated by a vertical bar. Each pilaster is supported behind by two (possibly secondary) diagonal braces, which are set into concrete blocks at ground level. The north-western set of railings terminates in a plain brick pier, apparently once part of a building of which only the lower walls remain. To the south-east of the Watch House, a small wicket gate is set between two slightly modified pilasters with scroll finials. At the south-eastern end of the site are the main gates, which have two sets of piers: an inner pair of iron consisting of four pilasters joined together in a box formation and spanned by a plain semicircular overthrow with a square lamp bracket and gas tap, and an outer pair in Portland stone with moulded cornices and recessed side panels. The two gates themselves resemble the railings except that the double rail is dropped to just above the level of the dog-bars.

HISTORY: St John's churchyard was created between 1727 and 1733 on the site of an old militia ground. The church, known as St John Horsleydown, was built at the expense of the Fifty New Churches Commission, the architects being Nicholas Hawksmoor and John James. The Vicarage was also built at this time. The Watch House was added to the churchyard around the turn of the C19, presumably in order to prevent the theft of bodies for medical experimentation, and was extended soon afterwards. It is likely that the south-eastern railings along with the gates and gate-piers were erected in the early C19, and that the north-western railings were added some years later following the demolition of the terraced houses along Fair Street. In 1882 the churchyard was laid out as a public park. The church itself was damaged during the Second World War and later demolished, its plinth being incorporated into the London City Mission offices built on the site in 1972-6.

SOURCES: Kerry Downes, Hawksmoor (1959), 196-8. Raymond Lister, Decorative Wrought Ironwork (1955), ch3. Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England. London 2: South (1994), 599, 606-7. HE Malden (ed), A History of the County of Surrey, Vol. 4 (1912), 141-61. John Rocque, A Plan of the Cities of London and Westminster and Borough of Southwark (1746). Richard Horwood, Map of London, Westminster and Southwark (1792-9). Greenwood's Map of London, 1830 Stanford's Survey, 1862 REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The gates, gate-piers and railings at St John's churchyard are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * They are a good and well-preserved (if relatively plain) example of late-Georgian ironwork. * Their relation to the listed Watch House, and also to the Vicarage and the remains of St John's Church, gives them considerable group value. * With the Watch House, they are of historical interest as reflections of the enhanced security arrangements in late-Georgian London churchyards.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 505614

Legacy System: LBS

Sources

Books and journals
Stanfords Survey, (1862)
Cherry, B, Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: London 2: South, (1994), 599, 606-7
Downes, K, Hawksmoor, (1959), 196-98
Lister, R, Decorative Wrought Ironwork, (1955)
Malden, H E, The Victoria History of the County of Surrey, (1912)
Rocque, J, A Plan of London, Westminster and the Borough of Southwark, (1746)
Other
Title: Greenwoods Map of London Source Date: 1830 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Map of London Westminster and Southwark Source Date: 1792-9 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing