APPENDIX II, SECTION 2
THE RESTORATION COMMITTEE, 1863
(Those marked with an * formed the Executive Committee.)
William Cubitt, M.P., Chairman.
*William Foster White, Treasurer of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, Vice-Chairman.
*William Salt, Treasurer.
*Rev. John Abbiss, Rector.
*Joseph Boord, Churchwarden.
E. L. Beckwith.
A. J. B. Beresford Hope, M.A.,D.C.L.,F.S.A.
Rev. T. H. Bullock, M.A.
James Butcher, C.C.
F. W. Blackett.
J. W. Butterworth, F.S.A.
Benjamin Bond Cabbell, F.R.S., F.S.A.
W. H. Collingridge.
Robert Chambers, LL.D.
Sir James Duke, Bart., M.P., Alderman.
*John Hilditch Evans, Overseer.
Hon. Dudley F. Fortescue, M.P.
John F. France, F.R.C.S.
William Gilpin, Treasurer of Christ's
W. G. Habershon.
*Rev. Thomas Hugo, M.A., F.S.A.
C. F. Hayward.
Philip Hardwick, R.A.
Philip C. Hardwick, F.R.S.L.
Edward I' Anson, F.G.S.
*W. H. Jackson, Churchwarden.
Thomas Lott, F.S.A. (Deputy).
*George Ostell, Leicester.
Joseph R. Masters.
Rev. Walter Mitchell, M.A.
J. H. Parker, F.S.A.
Sir Roundell Palmer, Knt., M.P.
*Richard Palmer, jun.
*R. N. Philipps, C.C., F.S.A.
Rev. F. P. Phillips, M.A.
Rev. John Louis Petit, M.A., F.S.A.
*A. C. Rippon.
A. R. Roche.
W. Tite, M.P., F.R.S., F.S.A.
Hon. Sec.: Thomas Kitt, Vestry
ARCHITECTS' REPORT ON THE STATE OF THE CHURCH (fn. 1)
By J. Hayter Lewis and William Slater.
To the Rev. J. Abbiss, Rector, and Messrs. Joseph Boord and William Henry
Jackson, Churchwardens, of the Church of St. Bartholomew the Great,
We have made a careful survey of your very interesting church, and beg
to submit to you the following Report, and the drawing connected with it.
The history of the church is briefly this. It seems to have been built for the
Black Canons regular of St. Augustin, by Prior Rahere, during the reign of
Henry I, in the beginning of the 12th century, no building having existed there
before his time. A Saxon church is, indeed, hinted at as having once occupied
the same site, but there seems to be no great authority for the statement.
The exact date is variously given; but there can be no doubt that the greater
part of the existing remains are of Rahere's time, and finished c. 1123, being
about coeval with the naves of Durham, Peterborough, and Norwich Cathedrals.
The present church was the choir, only, of Rahere's, the nave having been built
at the beginning of the 13th century, in a later style of architecture. This was
pulled down, unhappily, in Henry VIII's time, and few remains of it exist;
there is, however, the present very beautiful entrance from Smithfield, which
(we believe) once formed the end to the south aisle of the nave. Large repairs
seem to have been done by Prior Bolton, 1506–1532. It is stated that Queen
Mary gave the building to a convent of Black Friars, who began to rebuild
the nave, but were dispossessed by Queen Elizabeth—no trace of their work
is, however, apparent. Great alterations and repairs seem to have been effected
from 1622 to 1628, at which last date the 'steeple', part of stone and part of
timber, 'was pulled down to foundation, and rebuilt of brick.' (fn. 2) The original
church seems to have been about 280 ft. long and 60 wide, with apse, transepts,
choir, and nave, and having, also, cloisters, prior's house, refectory, chapter
house, and other usual adjuncts to a conventual church—forming, when
complete, a very splendid monument of the piety and architectural skill of
To compare it with existing buildings, the church must have been nearly
the length of Rochester Cathedral (313 ft. 6); and about three-fourths the
length of Exeter (370 ft. 8), Norwich (382 ft. 8), and Wells (380 ft.). In 1544
(the religious houses being broken up, and the nave, &c., pulled down) King
Henry VIII granted what remained to be a parish church for ever. The
Mansion House and parish chapel (fn. 3) (now destroyed) were granted to Sir R. Rich,
the Lord Chancellor.
We now proceed to give a detailed description of the several portions requiring
attention, and shall conclude by offering our suggestions as to the proper steps
to be taken for their repair and restoration.
The point of greatest importance is, of course, the general stability of the
fabric, and we are happy to be able to say, after a very careful examination,
that the greater part of it is in a very good and substantial state of repair.
There are, no doubt, several settlements apparent in the stonework, more
particularly near the main piers of the transepts, and to the arches and wall
of north aisle, which will require careful attention, and, probably, some works
to the foundations there may be necessary; but we do not apprehend that
much will be required, as the defects are, evidently, of old date, and do not
seem to have increased much of late years. Here and there, also, a column,
a portion of a pier, or a few mouldings will have to be supplied; but, generally
speaking, the state of the stonework is very satisfactory; scarcely any of the
carving has been injured, and the masonry will require merely to have the
thick coats of whitewash cleaned (not tooled) off, great care being taken to
preserve any traces of painting that may be found.
The next point to be noticed is that the general level of the floor has been
raised 2 ft. 6 since the building of Rahere's church.
This is quite plain from the level of the base of the apse column, which you
had excavated at our request, and from the level of the bases of some of the
other columns which can be seen at various parts. This raising of the floor
level (which has quite spoilt the original proportions of the church) must have
taken place before or at the time of the alterations made c. 1500 by Prior
Bolton, (fn. 4) as seems to be proved by the height of the principal doorway, near
Rahere's tomb, and the base of the tomb itself, which is said to have been
repaired and beautified by Bolton. Probably the old floor was found to have
been below the level of drainage then practicable.
The next important part is the apse, which formed part of the original
church, as is very clearly shown by the two Norman columns and arches now
seen behind the eastern wall; and it is further indicated by the beginning of
the curve, which shows itself in the old work up to and including the Norman
string over the aisle arches at the western side of the end wall, and also (in
rather an unusual manner) in the curve of the base of the apse column before
This apse is said by some writers to have been pentagonal on plain [sic]; but
it is clear that it was circular, and had, no doubt, an aisle continued round
it at the back, and the triforium completed round it above.
The apse was cut off, and a wall built where the present east wall now is,
apparently in the 15th century; it seems to have been intended to form a fine
eastern end by the insertion of a reredos and windows of a Perpendicular or
third Pointed character; part of the joints and arch mouldings of the windows
still remain on the north and south sides of the wall, westward; whether this
was carried out or not, and when this Perpendicular work was destroyed, if
ever completed, does not very clearly appear.
It most probably was carried out, as work of the same date may be traced
in almost every part of the church, showing that it had then sustained great
alteration. We may instance the doorway near Rahere's tomb and the tomb
canopy, which seem of about the same date as the beautiful oriel put up by
Bolton in the south triforium (fn. 5) —the straight piece of wall over the curved
Norman string of aisle arches at the east end of the external openings in the
north aisle—the change from Norman to Perpendicular of the corbels under
the arch mouldings of the great western round arch of the crux; of a similar
change in the capitals to the columns of the great arch of north transept, and
of the rebuilding of the whole clerestory east of the crux.
Whatever, however, was done at the east end, it is quite clear that neither
the present straight wall or any work on its site formed a part of the original
church, and that no part remains of the Perpendicular work of such importance
as that of the Norman church; and as, moreover, the present wall, which seems
to have been built in the 17th century (probably 1622–33, when 'more money'
is described to have been spent), is in a very defective condition (part of one
of the arches having recently fallen), there can be no archaeological objection
in the way of rebuilding the apse as originally formed. It unfortunately happens,
however, that a room has been built close up to the present east wall and over
the site of the apse, this room being, also, connected with other property which
extends the whole length of the ancient prior's house, (fn. 6) &c. These buildings
extended up to the end of the church, and as considerable remains of the old
work still exist, it seems very desirable that the whole of these premises should,
if possible, be reacquired by the parish. They are occupied by Messrs. Stanborough & Graves, as a fringe factory, the freehold, we understand, belonging
to Mr. Winston of Shoe Lane; and as the lease, we are told, has expired, and
the room is of little use, we trust that Messrs. Stanborough & Graves will
come forward, as parishioners, and meet the difficulty in the friendly way
which we should expect. We regret to say that the complete restoration of
the apse cannot be effected until you obtain possession of the room referred to.
We trust, however, that the whole premises may, ultimately, be acquired
by the parish, and used for purposes connected with the church and schools;
and we are led to trust the more that this may be done, as we have found, very
generally, that owners and occupiers of property are ready to meet the case,
in a very praiseworthy and liberal manner, when such property is required for
the public good.
The triforium openings towards the choir are of very good character, and
more elaborate than is often found, each opening having three detached columns
and four small arches under an enriched round arch. These openings are in
very good general condition, but we regret to say that the triforia themselves
are by no means so. The northern is, indeed, complete in its outline, but the
original outer wall seems to have been destroyed, and rebuilt in quite modern
times—probably the 17th century; and it is used as a schoolroom, having
a master's house attached at the east end. The southern triforium is altogether
destroyed, and if this be not rebuilt within three or four years it may be very
difficult to do so afterwards, as the houses (Pope's Cottages), close adjoining
to it, have been built, as we are informed, about fifteen years, and will soon
acquire a prescriptive right of light and air.
The clerestory windows west of transepts are of an earlier date, apparently,
than those in the east of them, which were added or rebuilt in the Perpendicular
style, though the existing remains are scarcely sufficient to show their precise
The tracery in the two windows westward remains, though blocked up, and
all that the other windows require is the insertion of their tracery, as the jambs,
labels, &c., are almost perfect.
We may remark that, as might have been expected, the masonry of the
clerestory and other portions of later work is very different from that of the
Norman work adjacent.
Both of the transepts are destroyed—the south beyond the line of the aisle
outer walls, and the north beyond the line of the aisle arches. The mouldings
to the great arch of the southern one are perfect, and so is the triforium arch
over the choir aisle; and a good drawing of the transept itself, almost perfect
except the roof, is given in Wilkinson, (fn. 7) under date 1819. The ground on which
the transept stood is unoccupied (except as a graveyard), but the transept
could not now be rebuilt without interfering with the light and air of the houses
erected some thirty years since on the site of the ancient chapel of St. Bartholomew.
This was, we believe, destroyed by fire in 1830, and the present houses built
in its place. The lower part of the enclosing walls remained up to the time of
the fire, when they were injured and pulled down level with the ground. Portions
may, however, yet remain under that level. Over the remaining portion of this
transept, even with the triforium, is the present vestry.
Of the north transept there are a few only of the mouldings of the great arch
in sight, but the remainder may, probably, be concealed and preserved by the
wall which now closes the arch. The capitals of the columns under these
mouldings (Norman) have been replaced by Perpendicular ones, and so have
the Norman corbels under the great western arch spanning the nave.
The reason of this alteration is not at all apparent at present, but may become
so as the modern obstructions are removed.
The great arches spanning the choir between the transepts are round, whilst
the transept arches are pointed. The reason popularly given for this difference
is, the wish to get the top of all the arches to range in height, which they would
not have done with the round arches, as the choir arches are much larger in
span than those of the transepts. It is, however, remarkable that the pointed
arches are much stilted (as the round ones might have been, and as they actually
are in the apse), and that the tops of the arches do not range. There is nothing
in the present building to show for certain that there ever was a tower over the
crux, though mention is made of it in some writings.
The part of the former church west of the north transept is now occupied by
houses built, apparently, some 200 years since, being Nos. 8 and 9 in Cloth Fair,
They are let, we understand, to Mr. Worfell, a carpenter, on lease for eleven
years unexpired by the owner, Mr. Mitchel.
The site of the transept itself is occupied by a smith's shop, belonging, we are
informed, to Mr. Horley, a baker in the parish. The lease to him will terminate
in about two years. The other house in the same passage is a parish house,
left by Lady Saye and Sele for the support of the alms people. It is let on lease
(shortly to expire) to Messrs. Palmer, at £14 per annum. The Charities Commissioners would probably arrange for this house to be given up.
We need scarcely point out to you how great is the danger of the church
being destroyed in case of a fire breaking out in either of the houses which now
cut into the church, at this part and at the east end, or in the schoolrooms and
master's house which have been formed out of the north triforium, &c.
Of the roofs, no indications seem to exist of the ancient structure. There
are no remains apparent of vaulting shafts or of roof corbels, but it is possible
that some of the latter may be concealed under the present large wooden corbels
which have been added (probably 1628). We trust that you will be able to
have the whole of the roofs thoroughly restored.
The west walls and the tower are modern erections of the 17th century.
Of the nave very little remains; but judging from the beautiful doorway, still
existing, of the south aisle, it must have been a very splendid erection. It was
joined on to the Norman work in a very singular manner, as is shown in the
present south aisle, west of the transept.
The south wall existed for nearly its whole length up to A. D. 1856, and must
have shown, no doubt, clear traces of the general arrangements of the piers, &c.
The wall was, however, then pulled down, and no remains appear above the
ground-level; but as that is 6 ft. above the ancient level of the church paving,
it is very probable that the bases of the several walls and piers may still remain
in situ, and that many fragments of ornaments and mouldings may be buried
amongst the raised ground.
The site of the Chapter-house is now built over by Pope's Cottages, (fn. 8) but of the
other attached buildings there exist more remains than might be supposed by
a casual observer.
The site of the east cloister is now occupied by various buildings, a long lease
whereof is held by Mr. Walpole of Finchley, the owners being two ladies
(Mades. Atkinson and Fitzgerald) in trust for a minor. Very fine remains of it
existed up to 1833, when they were allowed to fall, owing to neglect and decay.
Of the refectory and crypt, (fn. 9) portions show very clearly in passing through
Middlesex Passage, and the crypt exists in a tolerably perfect state throughout
the whole extent, or nearly so, of the refectory. Of the prior's house there are
still very considerable remains. (fn. 10)
We subjoin a plan, showing the general position of the church and conventual buildings; and we must mention, as rather a singular fact, that the plans
most generally known, viz. those which accompany the very carefully written
accounts in Wilkinson and in Knight's London represent the north aisle as being
much wider than the south, whereas the latter is the wider by some inches.
We now proceed to describe the various steps which we beg to recommend
should be taken towards the restoration of the church.
We consider that the principal works required to be done are, its restoration
to its ancient fine proportions by the lowering of the paving to the proper level—the repairing the stone work generally where injured—the completion of the
apse and the clerestory windows to their original state, and the draining,
warming and reseating of the church in a proper manner—by which reseating
not only the convenience and comfort of the parishioners will be promoted,
but many extra sittings obtained. It may be objected to the lowering that
the church would appear by it still more buried than it is, owing to the extra
number of steps that would be required.
This objection, however, is at once met by the very simple plan of putting
all the steps outside of the church instead of inside it as at present, forming,
of course, a sunken area outside as an entrance. This will not only remove the
present awkward and unpleasant effect of the steps now inside the church,
but enable you thoroughly to drain and ventilate the floor, and thus remove,
to a very great extent, the present cold and dampness. We propose, at the
same time, to remove the earth now filled in against the wall of the north aisle
(and which is now rotting the wall), and to make good any defects which may be
found existing in the said wall and in the foundations of the great piers of the
Probably, during the excavations, portions of the old tile or other paving
may be found, which may serve as a guide for the new, and, if possible, form
part of it; and we beg to suggest that every portion of ornamental work found
should be carefully preserved (if not capable of being re-used) in the triforium
or other convenient place.
With respect to the sepulchral monuments now fixed against the walls of
the church, the principal of them (Rahere's) would not, of course, be touched
beyond a careful repair; and as to this you may, no doubt, safely trust to the
liberality and care of the Treasurer and Committee of St. Bartholomew's
Hospital—founded like your church, by Rahere. The next tomb of importance
is that of Sir Walter and Lady Mildmay, A.D. 1576 and 1589. This cuts very
awkwardly into one of the main piers and arches on the south side of the old
church; but if it were slightly moved westward and lowered (as it naturally
would be when the floor is lowered), it would fill up the archway and interfere
very slightly with the piers or mouldings. Sir Walter was Chancellor of the
Exchequer to Queen Elizabeth, and founder of Emmanuel College, Cambridge,
and doubtless, that Society and Sir Henry Mildmay, the representative of that
respectable and ancient family, of Dogmersfield, would heartily respond to
your appeal for the comparatively small funds necessary for the above
The remaining monuments are the following, viz.—on the North Side,
beginning from the east—
No. 1. T. Roycroft (the printer of the Polyglot Bible, 1677), cut into Rahere's
2. Francis Anthony, 1623, cut into arch mouldings
4. J. Whiting, 1704, of white marble.
5. Sir R. Chamberlaine, 1615.
On the South Side, beginning from the east—
No. 1. Ald. Smalpage, 1558, in arch.
2. W. P. Taylor, 1820.
3. Ellis Joringe, 1659, in arch. (fn. 11)
4. Scudamore, cut into mouldings.
5. J. Rivers, 1641, cut into mouldings.
6. Whitley, 1685.
7. Rev. O. P. Edwardes (white marble).
The greater portion of these are, we believe, of alabaster; but they have, at
some time or other, been painted black, and we propose that they should all
be carefully cleaned. Those of them (as shown above) whose insertions have
injured the old work, we propose to have removed very carefully to the walls
of the aisles: the others to remain in situ.
The clerestory windows should have their tracery at once inserted, as the
expense of this would not be great, whilst the insertion would be very effective.
The main difficulty is the western end of the church. The wall here has no
pretensions either to beauty or antiquity; for it cannot be supposed that any
separation to such an extent, at least, could have been put up before the destruction of the nave. It is certain that the brick tower was not built until 1628, but
the whole western wall seems of about the same date. We recommend, however,
that these walls be left, for the present at least, in their original state; but as
they are objects by no means pleasing, we beg to suggest that the western gallery
be remodelled, and, with the organ, retained in somewhat of its present position,
so as to screen the west wall as it does now.
The vestry might be removed to the north aisle, a much more convenient
position than the present one; and when the earth is removed from against the
aisle wall, the windows restored, the room warmed, and the floor properly
drained and ventilated, this vestry would be a very commodious and comfortable one.
The removal would afford a very easy means of opening out the fine mouldings
of the south transept arch and of showing the ends of the south triforia. The
next thing, probably, to the above would be, in importance, the removal of
the whole of the earth now filled in to the two churchyards, so as to lay bare
the ground to the original level of the church. If, as we think very probable,
the excavations should reveal the existence of much of the lower part of the
otherwise destroyed nave, they would give the same interesting results lately
obtained by similar means at Fountains Abbey, and the interest attaching to
the discovery would give, no doubt, a great stimulus on behalf of the public
to the efforts for restoring the church.
It may be found that the destruction has been complete, even to the foundations, but we apprehend not; and, in any case, a few trials would soon establish
the fact, one way or the other. The work would be done gradually, so that
the remains of coffins, &c., could be most carefully re-interred at the lower
Next to this work would come the re-roofing of the present church, to be
followed, as funds may allow, by the restoration of the triforia, the opening out
of north transept, &c., remains of the old work whereof may very probably be
discovered amongst the old buildings near, more especially as their present
level is so much higher than that of the old church.
Of subsequent works, we think it unnecessary now to speak further than to
say that it would be very desirable to obtain, if possible, from the owners and
occupiers of the prior's old house the houses which now occupy the site of the
northern transept, the east cloister, &c., undertakings to make over the property
to you at certain fixed terms, if required by you within a certain date (say
four years); and we apprehend, from the spirit in which other cases of a similar
kind to this have been met, that the difficulty of such an arrangement will not
be so great as might be imagined.
With respect to the expenses, it will be necessary at present to allude merely
to those attendant on the works proposed to be executed first, viz.—
The lowering of the floor and repaving it complete;
The reconstruction of the present entrances, so as to put the steps outside
The draining, warming and reseating the whole;
The removal of the vestry and opening out of the south transept;
The reconstruction of the west gallery;
The removal of the earth against the north aisle, and the paving of the area
The repairs to the foundations of the four great piers and the north wall of
The repairs to the stonework generally;
The repairs and refixing of the monuments;
The filling in of the clerestory windows with tracery;
And the complete restoration of the apse, with triforium, clerestory and roofs
We believe that the whole of these works could be done for a sum under
We are, Gentlemen,
Your obedient Servants,
T. HAYTER LEWIS,
9 John Street, Adelphi.
4 Carlton Chambers, 4 Regent Street.
THE RESTORATION COMMITTEE, 1885 (fn. 12)
(The names marked with an * form the Executive Committee.)
Under the immediate sanction of
The Most Rev. The Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Right Rev. the Bishop of London.
The Right Rev. the Bishop of Bedford.
The Right Hon. the Earl of Devon.
The Very Rev. the Dean of St. Paul's.
The Very Rev. the Dean of Exeter.
The Very Rev. the Dean of Windsor.
The Very Rev. the Dean of Manchester.
The Rev. Canon Gregory.
The Rev. Canon Liddon.
*The Rev. W. Panckridge, Rector.
*The Rev. F. P. Phillips, Patron.
The Rev. Arundell St. John Mildmay (Hazel Grove).
*The Rev. W. Benham.
The Rev. Precentor Venables.
*The Rev. F. W. J. Daniels.
*The Rev. N. C. S. Poyntz.
*The Right Hon. the Lord Charles Bruce.
The Right Hon. the Earl Waldegrave.
The Hon. Dudley F. Fortescue.
The Right Hon. Geo. Cubitt, M.P.
The Right Hon. Viscount Halifax.
Sir John Lubbock, Bart., M.P.
Sir E. A. H. Lechmere, Bart., M.P.
Sir J. Whittaker Ellis, Bart., M.P.
Sir Reginald Hanson, Lord Mayor.
Sir Sydney H. Waterlow, Bart.
*The Right Hon. A. J. B. Beresford Hope,
*Dr. Norman Moore.
John Bertram, Esq., C.C.
*W. de Gray Birch, Esq., F.S.A.
*William Brew, Esq.
*T. W. Boord, Esq., M.P.
W. H. Collingridge, Esq.
*L. Collingridge, Esq.
*W. H. Cross, Esq., M.A.
Oliver H. Davis, Esq.
A. E. Edmin, Esq.
Worthington Evans, Esq.
*John F. France, Esq., F.S.A.
*James Hilton, Esq., F.S.A.
J. Hollinghurst, Esq.
George Kenning, Esq.
E. Knight, Esq.
*T. Hayter Lewis, Esq., F.S.A.
William Lincoln, Esq.
Colonel Makins, M.P.
Richard B. Martin, Esq.
*H. Bingham Mildmay, Esq.
*R. C. Nichols, Esq.
*J. W. Overbury, Esq.
*W. R. Palmer, Esq.
*R. H. Peck, Esq., Churchwarden.
T. Sangster, Esq., C.C.
John Scott, Esq.
George Shorey, Esq.
J. G. Talbot, Esq., M.P.
W. P. Treloar, Esq., C.C.
*Stephen Tucker, Esq., Somerset
*B. Turner, Esq.
Thos. Wildash, Esq., C.C.
T. Wilkinson, Esq.
J. Willmott, Esq.
*W. T. Wingrove, Esq.
*J. Young, Esq.
*F. D. Dixon-Hartland, Esq., M.P.,
*E. A. Webb, Esq., Churchwarden. Hon. Secs.
*W. H. Jackson, Esq., Vestry Clerk. Hon. Secs.
Architect: Aston Webb, Esq., F.R.I.B.A., 19 Queen Anne's Gate, S.W.
Hon. Solicitors: Messrs. Hedges & Brandreth, Red Lion Square, W.C.
Bankers: Messrs. Lacy, Hartland, Woodbridge & Co., West Smithfield, E.C.
ARCHITECT'S REPORTS, 1885–6, 1891.
Report No. 1.
Prior to the commencement of the Work of Restoration. (fn. 13)
19 Queen Anne's Gate, S.W.
December 15, 1885.
ST. BARTHOLOMEW THE GREAT, WEST SMITHFIELD
In accordance with your instructions of June 4th, I have made a careful
survey of your Church, and herewith submit to you the following report and
plans showing my proposals.
It will be unnecessary for me to go in detail into the history of the Church,
as this is already well known, and was fully published at the time of the partial
restoration carried out in 1863–65, and may be found in Messrs. T. Hayter Lewis
and W. Slater's report of 1863, and in Mr. J. H. Parker's Lecture, delivered in
the Church in July of the same year, and printed by the Restoration Committee.
Since that time the most important event in the history of the Church has
been the acquisition of the property known as the 'Fringe Factory' at the East
end, and (by a few of the Parishioners in trust for the Parish) of the Blacksmith's
Forge, on the site of the North Transept, both acquisitions of the greatest
importance to the Church.
The acquisition of these properties enables the various works required for
the safety of the Church to be proceeded with, as funds will allow, and it will
be convenient if I here state them.
1st. The completion of the Apse.
2nd. The re-roofing of the Church.
3rd. The removal of Boys' School from North Triforium, and the re-erection
of Schools on a portion of the Fringe Factory site.
4th. The removal of the Forge and the present Vestry, and the building of
North and South Transepts.
5th. Repairs to the West End, and the uncovering of the remains of the Nave.
6th. Seating and necessary Furniture.
7th. The Restoration of the Lady Chapel.
The completion of the East End.
1st. The acquisition of the Fringe Factory—including the portions projecting
into the Church—enables the building to be freed from encumbrances which
have burdened it for over 250 years.
The termination of the East End of the Church has been subject to several
important structural changes since its commencement in 1123, and are briefly
these: The building, as originally designed, was to be terminated by a semicircular Apse, and all but the two easternmost columns of the original ground
arcade still remain, the other two having been rebuilt in 1864. The commencement of the curve of the triforium gallery is also visible, as are also the radiating
arches of the groining to the Ambulatory at the East End. These, however,
show a change of purpose during the progress of the work, caused apparently
by the addition of a Lady Chapel. What the change was, it is not possible to
say with certainty, though the removal of the wall built across the opening,
which has only now become possible, may be expected to throw light on this,
by disclosing the bases of the arched entrance into the Chapel.
A further alteration took place towards the end of the 15th century, when, as
in most Norman churches in this country, the apse was converted into a square
East End; the jambs of what was probably a large East window still remain,
though there is no evidence beyond them, and the portions of string below, to
indicate the design of the work.
The last change took place probably about the middle of the 17th century, when
the East end appears to have fallen into a ruinous condition, the East window
was taken out, and the present straight wall with its two large round-headed
windows was built (principally of old materials, faced externally with brick).
My object in the plans I have submitted for the removal of the present factory
at the East end, and of which an interior view is appended, (fn. 14) has been to preserve
every trace now existing of these changes. The jambs, therefore, of the late
East end referred to I preserve, taking out only the modern wall between and
turning an arch over from these jambs, thus preserving all the indications of the
square end, and forming a sanctuary arch with a straight wall over. Eastwards
of this arch the apse will be completed, as it already is on the ground arcade,
and in accordance with the drawing referred to. By this means the work can
be carried out without interference in any way, not only with the original
Norman work, but also with the later 15th and 16th century additions, thus
preserving all the present traces of the architectural history of the building;
in fact, west of the present East end, the building will be untouched by this work.
The Reroofing of the Church.
2nd. Re-roofing is a very urgent matter, and it is much to be hoped that
your Committee may be able to carry it out simultaneously with the alteration
to the East end. Indeed, it will soon become absolutely necessary if the Church
is to be preserved. The lead on the roof has long been in a very bad condition,
letting in the water and decaying the timbers: it is now past even temporary
repair. The present roof is without architectural character, and was probably
put on in the middle of the 17th century.
My proposal is to replace the present roof with one of oak of a similar pitch,
and of the design shown on the drawings, and to recover with the existing lead.
The Schools and Triforia.
3rd. The removal of the Boys' School from the North Triforium is as urgently
required for the carrying on of Divine worship in the Church, as it is for the
proper conduct of the School. A portion of the Fringe Factory site is available
for the erection of Schools to accommodate about 300 children, with a Teacher's
residence attached; and the erection of these Schools would not only restore
the triforium to the Church, but would also liberate the site of the present
Girls' and Infants' Schools, and enable amongst other things an entrance to
be made to the Church from this end, a want which is much felt.
The building over the North Ambulatory, now forming the Boys' School, I
propose to leave unaltered, merely putting it into repair, it being desirable to
alter the appearance of the Church externally as little as possible, as this
building has much that is picturesque and interesting about it.
The Blacksmith's Forge and the Transepts.
4th. It is most desirable that the Forge should be silenced, being a constant
source of danger from fire, and the building itself is in so bad a condition, that
only a few weeks ago part of the Church was flooded with the drainage from
these premises, and this not for the first time; the Vestry too is a very great
disfigurement to the Church; both of these should be removed and the transepts
rebuilt, though rights of light, and the value of the properties practically prevent
the possibility of their reconstruction of the original dimensions, viz.: 36' 0"
× 28' 0".
The continuation of the Ambulatory on the north side, and the opening out
of this fine North transept arch would be a great improvement to the Church,
and my proposal is the erection of shallow transepts of a late character, as
shown on the plans, which would leave a very valuable site for disposal in
Cloth Fair, and the green Churchyard on the south would be available for the
erection of Vestries and Parish Room, or other purposes as may hereafter be
found necessary. (I may here mention that all the portions coloured pink on
the ground plan, amounting in all to some 2,500 feet sup. show land which will
be available for disposal or for purposes in connection with the Church.)
The West end and site of Nave.
5th. Repairs to the West End are required, including a new West window
and entrance porch as shown on the drawings, and the laying bare of the remains
of the Nave would add very greatly to the historical and architectural interest
of the Church, and in addition it might be so laid out as to form a pleasanter
approach to the Church, and become a quiet resting-place in the midst of this
The seating of the Church.
6th. The seating and furniture (the details of which may be settled hereafter)
are much wanted, and mention of them cannot be omitted in any report on the
present condition of the Church.
The restoration of the Lady Chapel.
7th. The acquisition of the Fringe Factory, and the examination it has
enabled us to make, have brought to light for the first time very considerable
and most interesting remains of this building, drawings of which I submit
to-day. The present factory is in fact contained within the walls of the Lady
Chapel, the internal dimensions of which are 60' 0" × 22' 0", and show that
the Chapel was reconstructed if not rebuilt about Prior Bolton's time, (fn. 15) the
details of the window jambs agreeing with those of the remaining jambs of the
East window, the walls and buttresses which still remain, though now cemented
over, are faced with flint, with a three-light window in each bay; traces apparently of the sedilia in the easternmost bay also remain. The original roof has
entirely gone, and the building has had a storey added to it for looms, probably
in the last century, and the walls have been much cut about by floors and the
insertion of modern windows, but enough remains to show the original design.
Below the Chapel is a crypt, lighted with single light windows, and vaulted in
a single span twenty-two feet wide: this crypt has been almost entirely filled
with earth and fragments of the original building, but a portion has been
excavated for your inspection to-day, and I earnestly hope you will empower
us to proceed further with it. Many interesting remains have already been
found, and there is little doubt that still more interesting results will be obtained
as the East end of the Church is approached, including indications of the arrangement of the entrance to the Church already referred to.
Should the opportunity arise of restoring this building to its former condition,
sufficient remains to enable this to be done to a great extent with certainty;
but the acquisition of the almshouses on the north side would be very desirable
in order to light the building from both sides, as was originally the case, and
these probably could be acquired at a moderate cost.
In conclusion, Gentlemen, I can assure you I am fully sensible of the responsibility of advising on this most interesting Church; but by the carrying out of
these works, subject to such alterations in detail as may from time to time
become necessary as the old work is brought to light, I believe that the Church
would lose absolutely nothing of its present historical and architectural interest,
while it would become more fitting for the purposes for which it was built, and
present, at any rate, a less striking contrast than it now does to its original
The work proposed can without difficulty be carried out in sections, and I
append below my approximate estimate of each section.
I am, Gentlemen,
Your obedient Servant,
19 Queen Anne's Gate, S.W.
December 15, 1885.
To the Executive Committee for the Restoration of the Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield, E.C.
December 15, 1885.
|1.||Completion of the East End||1,800||0||0|
|2.||Re-roofing the Church||800||0||0|
|3.||Re-building North and South Transepts, including acquisition of Forge and Lady Saye and Seale's house||4,000||0||0|
|4.||Repairs to West End, and uncovering remains of Nave||1,000||0||0|
|5.||Seating and Furniture||800||0||0|
|6.||Restoration of Triforium and erection of Vestries, etc.||1,000||0||0|
|7.||Charges and Sundries, say||600||0||0|
|8.||Erection of Schools on Portion of Fringe Factory site, say||2,500||0||0|
|9.||Restoration of Lady Chapel, say||2,800||0||0|
Report No. 2.
Made on the completion of the first section of the Work of Restoration. (fn. 16)
19 Queen Anne's Gate, S.W.
November 19th, 1886.
SAINT BARTHOLOMEW THE GREAT
I have to report that in accordance with the instructions received from
your Executive Committee, the work approved by you at the East End has
been completed by Messrs. Dove Brothers within the contract time and to my
During the progress of the work much of interest has been brought to light.
On taking down the square wall carried by the girder and columns at the
East End, the upper portion was found to be built of the tracery of what was
no doubt the Great Window of the Fourteenth Century Square East End, and
enough of this has been found to show its design, (fn. 17) previously entirely unknown,
and it is now laid out in a temporary museum formed in the Fringe Factory.
The lower portion of the wall already referred to was found to be built of the
remains of the original Norman Apsidal termination of the East End, thus
permanently setting at rest the question of the original completion of the
Norman Apse. Many of these stones are in perfect condition and retain a great
deal of their Norman colour decoration, and have also been arranged in the
The wall dividing the Church from the Fringe Factory was built of Transitional and Early English fragments, probably from the Nave, which have also
The opening out of the Entrance to the Lady Chapel is of considerable interest,
and displays features hitherto entirely concealed.
The late jambs of the great East Window have been retained, as originally
intended, and an Arch turned from them.
The work has been carried out without the removal of a single worked stone
from its original position, and it is certainly to the credit of the Contractors,
the Clerk of Works and the Workmen, that in spite of the erection of very
heavy scaffolding throughout the Church for the re-roofing, the whole has been
set up and removed without any injury to the fabric, so that it is now handed
back to the authorities with the ancient work in every way in as good a condition
as it was received by us.
The dropping of the Great Arches of the Crossing from want of proper abutment will require careful watching, and it is much to be hoped that support
for these, by the addition of shallow transepts, will not be long delayed.
The erection of a substantial brick wall between the Church and the Fringe
Factory at the East End, has, as far as possible protected this end of the Church
from fire, but the Forge in the North Transept is still a source of danger, as is
likewise the School in the North Triforium.
The works therefore that are still urgently required, are:
The removal of the Forge and Parish House on the North Transept;
The removal of the present Canvas-covered Vestry in the South Transept;
The removal of the Boys' School from the Triforium;
The building of Two Shallow Transepts to support the Arches of the Crossing;
The Uncovering of the Nave, and
The Restoration of the Lady Chapel.
The probable cost of these works is fully set forth in my previous Report.
I am, Gentlemen,
To the Restoration Committee, St. Bartholomew the Great, E.C.
ARCHITECT'S REPORT, 1891 (fn. 18)
19 Queen Anne's Gate,
9 February 1891.
ST. BARTHOLOMEW THE GREAT, SMITHFIELD, E.C.
Herewith in accordance with your instructions I submit Drawings, Specifications, and Estimates of the further work proposed to this Church.
These include the works contemplated in the Commissioners' grant; viz.—the repairs to the Tower and West Front, and the Vaulting to the North and
South Aisles, Re-roofing the South Triforium and repairing the old Boys' School
and House over the North Triforium, building a shallow North Transept and
a Vestry over the West Porch. It will be seen that I estimate the cost of these,
including the South Transept already built, at £5,900 as against £5,406 allowed
in the Commissioner's grant; if, however, the West window is given up, and
I think there is much to be said for this course, a saving will be effected of
£300—bringing the amount to be expended to £5,600 or only £194 more than
the Commissioners' grant.
In addition to the work contemplated in the Commissioners' grant I have
ventured to make some further suggestions which appear to me very desirable.
The principal of these is the utilization of the remainder of the land of the
Forge site for a Porch extending to the footway in Cloth Fair, and covering
steps leading down to the Church. This would make a striking architectural
feature in Cloth Fair, display the Church to that thoroughfare, and enable
people to enter the church under cover, which is at present not possible.
It is also proposed to put a room over the Porch which it is thought would
be very useful for the Verger. This Transept being more in evidence than the
South Transept, it is proposed to treat it a little more ornately and introduce
a little ornamental flint and stonework.
An important porch at the West End is also proposed with a small Vestry
over. A niche is shown over this door in which it is thought a statue of Rahere
the Founder of the church might be appropriately placed.
Both of these Porches, besides adding to the appearance of the exterior, are
very essential for containing the two sets of double doors which are the only
means of preventing the draughts in the Church.
With regard to the erection of the North Transept, and the surrounding
dominating lights, though some difficulties may arise, I do not think they will
Another work proposed is the ceiling of the South bay of the Nave by the
present entrance. I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that a stone vault
is inadvisable and that a flat oak ceiling would be better.
It is also proposed to improve the approach to the South Transept by the
removal of the wall at present round the green churchyard, and to substitute a
dwarf wall and railing.
The bells in the Tower should also be overhauled and I have an estimate
from Messrs. Warner for these amounting, with clockmaker's work, to £65.
The total cost of these additional works I put at £1,465, and this, with Architect's Commission, &c., and the £494 excess of the Estimate over the grant,
brings the total beyond the Commissioners' grant and exclusive of the Lady
Chapel to £2,359 0s. 0d., or say in round figures £2,500 0s. 0d.
I remain, Gentlemen, Yours faithfully,
Messrs. the Hon. Secretaries of the Restoration Committee,
St. Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield, E.C.
PS.—With regard to the Lady Chapel, which I have not touched upon in this
report, I think the Committee's attention should be seriously drawn to it. The
present building is in a most wretched and pitiable condition and it would be
money thrown away to attempt to repair it. Sooner or later, however, it will
become dangerous, and if not removed would fall down, when the very interesting
remains of the old building would be lost.
The cost of restoring this in a substantial but simple manner I estimate at
about £2,800, and, although the building would no longer be required for its
former use, it would be a very valuable adjunct for the work carried on in the
church such as quire room and practice, morning services and other purposes,
to say nothing of the great architectural improvement it would be to the whole
building and as a safeguard from fire.
The following report on the estimate of the probable cost of the works proposed
was also submitted by the architect; copies of which had also been circulated
amongst the members.
Statement showing the amount of the Commissioners' grant of £8,000 to be
expended in building and other ways:
|To be expended in building.|
|Repairs to Tower & West Front and external parapets of Quire and Aisles, restoration of vaulting to N. & S. aisles and general repair of monuments||1,613||0||0|
|10 per cent. for contingent expenses on the above.||190||0||0|
|New North Transept||1,500||0||0|
|New South Transept||1,200||0||0|
|Formation of a new vestry||300||0||0|
|Balance of grant not specially allotted||304||8||6|
|Total on building||5,405||8||6|
|To be expended in other ways.|
|Repayment of debt incurred by re-roofing the quire||1,055||0||0|
|For completing the purchase of the forge.||764||11||6|
|For purchase of the Saye and Seale house||775||0||0|
|Total in other ways||2,594||11||6|
|Total in building||5,405||8||6|
Architect's estimate of the Building work proposed February 1891.
|Works contemplated in the grant.|
|Repairs to Tower||350||0||0|
|Repairs to West front and gable coping||120||0||0|
|New West window||400||0||0|
|New roof to South aisle and vaults||350||0||0|
|Vaults to North aisle||105||0||0|
|Repairs to old boys' school and North front||175||0||0|
|Vestry over West porch||300||0||0|
|New South Transept, say||1,850||0||0|
|New North Transept, say||2,250||0||0|
|Grant as over||5,406||0||0|
|Excess over grant||494||0||0|
|N.B.—If West window is omitted
|Works not contemplated in the grant.|
|Porch to North transept and room over||800||0||0|
|Porch to West entrance||400||0||0|
|Oak panelled ceiling to West entrance||100||0||0|
|Approaches and boundary wall to South transept||100||0||0|
|Repairs to bells||65||0||0|
|Excess over grant for contemplated works.||494||0||0|
|Excess over grant||1,959||0||0|
|Add Architect's commission, etc., say||400||0||0|
|Total amount to be collected exclusive of Lady Chapel||2,359||0||0|