Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Two spires


I just spent a happy weekend visiting my daughter and son-in-law in London.  Unusually we didn't venture into central London this time, contenting ourselves with exploring closer to where they live in north London.  I was impressed by these two church spires in Stoke Newington.  Both church buildings are part of the same church - the old church of St Mary's and the new church.  There has been a site of Christian worship here since at least 1086 and the old church (in the foreground) dates back to 1563 - one of the few remaining Elizabethan churches in the country - though its spire was a later addition.  By the mid-19th century the area was rapidly developing and leaving behind its rural village roots.  The church was too small (the then Rector, Rev Thomas Jackson, was attracting large congregations with his preaching) so a new church was built, designed in neo-Gothic style by George Gilbert Scott (who also designed St Pancras Station and the Albert Memorial) and consecrated in 1858.  Both buildings are now used for worship and community activities.  I wasn't able to go inside but there are interesting photos on the church website.

(Don't you think the 1850s must have been an astonishing time in England? So much development was going on - it was around 1850 that the building of Saltaire's mill and village was started.)

11 comments:

  1. A lovely spring view. The 1850s were fast moving here too!

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  2. What a delicious gothic mood! really out of time! Shelley, Keats, and their friends surely would have loved this place..

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  3. Very nice shot of the twin spires. This would make a nice painting. In a few weeks the leaves will probably block the view of the second spire.

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  4. That's a beautiful photo. And yes, I'd love to take a time machine to the 1850s, both in England and here in the States.

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  5. We love the old carved pews. Great to have those doors to them one can snooze behind in the sermon. They must have a loud speaker on in the other church, unless of course there was a deacon preaching in one and a canon in the other....

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  6. The 1850s were definitely an interesting time! I am always amazed at the age of buildings in England.

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  7. It must be a successful congregation even today if it can keep both buildings actively used. Nice photo and, once again, an informative post.

    My daughter is also in London these days.

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  8. My husband was born in Stoke Newington. Small world.

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  9. Nice photos! I agree that lots of things were going on in the 1850s but that would not be my favorite period of time...most everybody except the elite had a very difficult time. Life was short and brutish!

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  10. Beautiful shot and how incredible to see this church built so long ago in the 1500s. ~Lili

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