Wednesday, 6 April 2011
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.)