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Lady Chapel of St. street is much narrower; but a plan has been proposed, which seems to remove all the difficulties interfering with the preservation of this building. The street in which the front of the Assembly-room stands, may without difficulty be lengthened in a direct line into the north road, by the purchase of a large garden and some properties which are attainable; and, should this plan be adopted, two very dangerous turnings through narrow streets would be avoided, and Bootham Bar might remain undisturbed. Should the decree, already gone forth, be carried into
LADY CHAPEL OF ST.
effect, and this interesting monument be levelled with the ground, Walmgate Bar will be the only one remaining, possessing a Barbican, as that at Monkbar was removed some years since. The hand of the destroyer, however, is abroad; and active exertions must be used to check the conceit of modern improvers. It is curious that the Corporation are engaged in patching up their walls, and at the very same time destroying their gates. Where will the mania stop?
Yours, &c. AN ANTIQUARY.
SINCE our last report on this subject, so interesting to the feelings of all who value our venerable ecclesiastical structures, the exertions of Mr. Saunders and the other members of the Committee have been so unremitting, that we flatter ourselves the important object of preserving the Chapel may be considered as already achieved; but much remains to be done, to induce Parliament to compel the London Bridge Committee to grant a sufficient space to shew this noble specimen of our national architecture to public view. Whilst thousands and tens of thousands are expended to open new avenues to one of the best of our modern Grecian parochial churches, St. Martin in the Fields, it would be the height of pitifulness-we had almost said madness-to grudge a few additional feet of frontage to a building that would form so striking an architectural ornament on entering London from the south. Let any one observe how grandly the noble column of Sir Christopher Wren shews itself to the eye, now it is disencumbered of the surrounding buildings on the north bank of the Thames; and then say, why the venerable ecclesiastical pile on the southern shore should be shut up from public view. The question is not, whether a large sum should be expended in taking down houses to open the view, but the space being now clear, whether houses should again cover the ground: in short, whether a mean spirit of avarice should overcome what may be justly considered a matter of deep interest to all lovers of true taste and national glory. If by the continued pecuniary support
of the public (for much still remains to be subscribed), this noble pile is thoroughly repaired, and a sufficient space can be obtained to exhibit its beauties to the eye, we hesitate not to say that those individuals who have come forward so handsomely in its support, will be deserving, and will receive, a large share of commendation from the public voice.
A second meeting of the friends to the restoration was held on Saturday Feb. 18, at Willis's Rooms, to consider the propriety of petitioning the House of Commons, that the London Bridge Committee might be directed to allow sufficient space for a view of the Church and Lady Chapel.
P. F. Robinson, Esq. F.S.A. architect, was called to the Chair.
A Report of the Proceedings from the commencement of the struggle for its preservation was then read. The report first spoke of "the great and persevering efforts of the parishioners." Although the London Bridge Committee made it a condition of an ultimate graut of only 70 feet frontage for the view of the Church, that the ancient Lady Chapel should be destroyed, yet the parishioners, after a manly contest on Feb. 9 and 10, recorded their votes
For the preservation of the Chapel, 380
The Report then noticed the firm determination of the Bishop of Winchester not to consent to the demolition of the Chapel.
It appears that the Wardens of the Parish (who are deserving of the greatest praise for early as Nov. 1830, to the London Bridge their exertions) addressed a memorial, so Committee, to induce them to leave open a sufficient space, and suggested 180 feet. The Wardens stated the great value of the structure as an ornament to the metropolis; and
On the 19th April, 1831, the parish resolved that the width of 60 feet, offered by the London Bridge Committee, was inadequate; and on the 15th Oct. 1831, adhered to their former resolution.
In Oct. 1831, the Wardens memorialized the Treasury, stating that the London Bridge Committee had refused more than 60 feet, and that only on condition of taking down the Chapel. They observed that this curious portion of the Church, if restored, would be such as might fairly challenge competition with any parochial church in the kingdom. At a meeting of the Lords of the Treasury and the Memorialists, the opinion of the Lords of the Treasury appeared to be in favour of a larger opening than 60 feet. The Memorialists afterwards had the mortification to find on the 24th of Jan. last, that not more than SEVENTY feet would be allowed, and that only provided that the parish agreed to a plan of the London Bridge Committee, embracing the removal of the Chapel, and that the consent of the Bishop of Winchester to such removal could be obtaived.
The parish not having consented to remove the Chapel, and the London Bridge Committee adhering to their resolution of not more than 70 feet, although great part of those 70 feet (the site of the Bishop's Chapel) is already the property of the parish, the matter is referred for decision to a Committee of the House of Commons, sitting on a bill brought in by the London Bridge Committee, for improving the approaches to the new Bridge; and the result of its decision will be looked forward to with intense interest, by all true lovers of taste.
The subscription for the restoration of the Chapel has proceeded successfully. About 1600l. has been subscribed. But as much again will be wanted, and we trust will be provided, in order that the opponents to the restoration of the Chapel may not issue their taunts that the object in view cannot be accomplished for want of adequate funds.
When the Report had been read, J. B. NICHOLS, Esq. moved that it should be received by the meeting. Having witnessed the exertions of the Committee, he felt it his duty to come forward and declare his high sense of their conduct.
C. POTT, Esq. had great pleasure in seeing the meeting enter so warmly into the object
for which they had assembled, and he was sure that the exertions now made would meet with the approbation of the public.
The resolution was put, and agreed to unanimously.
W. PAYNTER, Esq. proposed the next resolution, which was, that it is the opinion of the meeting that the character of the British nation was raised in the estimation of foreigners by its stupendous public works, its literary productions, and its encouragement of the arts." He felt great pleasure in congratulating the meeting on the triumph they had lately obtained. They had gained one point, but that was not enough; they had saved the Chapel, but they had now to exert themselves to obtain an opening to it. The circumstances of the present day were very different from those of the former meeting. At that meeting it was a matter of doubt as to whether the Chapel would be saved or not. The result of the poll had decided this, and had redeemed the character of the parishioners of St. Saviour's. It now only remained with the public to come forward and assist to restore the Chapel. As an ornament to London and the whole country, it had claims on the public generosity. The British public was never backward with its support on fitting occasions. No building had ever greater claims ou the public than the Lady Chapel, were it only for the beauty of its architecture, its great antiquity, and the events which were connected with it. It was a connecting link to bind the present to the past.
SYDNEY TAYLOR, Esq. said that, in rising to second the motion, he felt obliged to make a few observations in reference to what had taken place since the last meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern. Since that meeting a great victory had been obtained-the barbarians had been routed from their work
of demolition. He was one of those who attended that meeting, not from a feeling of interest in the parish, but from a wish to preserve so noble a specimen of ancient architecture from the work of destruction. If the London Bridge Committee had given their sanction to this act of Vandalism, he would ask them if it would be au improvement to the approaches to the New London Bridge to shut out from public view an edifice second only to Westminster Abbey? The public would never allow of such an act of barbarity. Westminster Abbey was su perior in magnitude to St. Saviour's Church, but it did not surpass it in splendour of architecture. The centre tower of St. Saviour's Church was peculiarly interesting; it was the only one of the kind remaining in the metropolis. The church showed the progressive advancement of Gothic architecture for a period of five or six centuries. It was the study of artists and the admiration of foreigners, and a distinguished ornament to
Lady Chapel of St.
the city of London. Westminster Abbey had more sublime historical interest about it-it was the great repository of the illustrious dead. But St. Saviour's Church was not merely interesting for its architecture; it was also interesting in a moral point of view. Within its walls lie interred the mortal remains of the father of English poetry, Gower. There also lie the remains of the venerable Bishop Andrews, whose life was an example of virtue, and who was one of the greatest ornaments of religion. It has other records to support its claim, which Westminster cannot boast. Here were exhibited the sullen frowns of the tyrant, and the sincere fortitude of the British martyrs. Here the apostles of our faith triumphed under the torture, and obtained, by their sufferings, civil and religious liberty for their posterity. Is this a place to be pulled down? Are the remains of those who rest under its roof to be scattered by the waggon-wheels of the votaries of Mammon? Yet this would have taken place but for the timely opposition of the British public. He trusted the House of Commons would show its feelings on this occasion to be in unison with those of the public. When houses and streets were pulled down to expose to view St. Martin's Church, in the west end of the town, was St. Saviour's, one of the purest specimens of architecture in the metropolis, to be bricked out of public view at the other end of the town? Whilst magnificent openings were left to lath and plaster and stucco-deception at one end of the town, was there to be no opeuing left to a structure which all the art of the world would fail to equal? He could not believe it to be the spirit of improvement to prefer the mock glories of architecture to the real -the pretty and fantastic to the magnificent and sublime. How could they pretend to a love of architecture and the arts whilst they threw their best and noblest specimens away?-(loud cheers.)
The resolution was put, and carried unanimously.
The Rev. SAM. WIx moved the next resolution, namely-"That the sentiments of the majority of the parishioners of St. Saviour's are alike honourable to their good taste and feeling, and deserving the gratitude of the meeting and the public."
J. BRITTON, Esq seconded the resolution, which was carried unanimously.
T.SAUNDERS, Esq. proposed the next resotion, namely That the meeting was most anxious to redeem the pledge given to the parishioners of St. Saviour's, to restore the Lady Chapel without any expense to the parish." He had stated at the last meeting that the restoration of the Chapel would be to the interest of the parish. He was happy to be able to say that the parish had come over to his opinion, and had supported him with a majority of 240. Since that time he had
received the pledge of 180 other parishioners to support him if necessary. He felt proud also in being able to say that many of the parishioners had subscribed most liberally. The battle had been fought and won; but there was a secondary, though equally important, object to be obtained: they must yet obtain an opening to the church, else all their exertions would be rendered ineffectual. When St. Thomas's Hospital and the Lady Chapel were restored, they would present a grand feature of attraction on the southern approach to the New London Bridge.
W. NASH, Esq. seconded the resolution; which was carried unanimously.
Mr. Lock moved a resolution, expressing their sincere gratitude to the public Press for their exertions on this and on all other occasions; which was seconded by Mr. JACKSON, and carried amid the cheers of the meeting.
Mr. NASH proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Saunders for his exertions on this occasion; which, having been seconded by Mr. NICHOLS, was received by the meeting with cheers, and agreed to unanimously.
Other resolutions were passed, and the meeting separated.
YOU will with great satisfaction record the success which has attended the exertions of the advocates for the
preservation of the Lady Chapel of St. Saviours. The earnest of a liberal subscription has already placed the question of the restoration of the Chapel on a sure basis; and before this article will be in the hands of your readers, I trust that they will have heard that the question now in agitation before the House of Commons, upon the quantity of frontage to be allowed to the structure, will be carried in the favour of an extended prosspect of the entire Church in its renewed glories. It is my intention to illustrate the external and internal views of the Chapel, which will accompany this article, with a brief historical account of the Lady Chapel, in order to ascertain its probable age, and a few remarks on its architectural merits.
The Priory Church of St. Mary Overy owes its present grandeur in a rality of several of the Bishops of great measure to the piety and libeWinchester; but it is not my purpose to enter further into the history of the structure, than is necessary to elucidate the Choir and Lady Chapel.
In consequence of a fire which happened in the early part of the thir
teenth century, a great portion of the Church was under the necessity of being rebuilt. This work was undertaken by Peter de Rupibus, Bishop of Winchester, 1205 to 1238, and is thus noticed in an ancient Chronicle John' anno x° (1208) Seynt Marie Overie was that yere begonne.'
The portion of the Church which was built at this period could have been no other than the Choir and Lady Chapel, as the nave is of an earlier date, and the transepts and tower of a later one. In the choir and Lady Chapel, then, we view the work of Bishop de Rupibus; and, if no date had been assigned to the commencement of the work, the antiquary would have had little trouble in deducing from the architectural features of the building the date at which it was erected. In the solid pillars and acute arches, in the lancet windows and simple groined roof, may be viewed an unaltered building of the thirteenth century.†
The commencement of the structure having been thus fixed, let us endeavour to trace its completion; and we will first seek for information in the evidence which the building itself possesses. In surveying the Lady Chapel, it will be seen that the east front displays the triple lancet windows and acute gables which mark the works erected about the date of the commencement of the structure; but in the south flank of the Chapel there is a window in which the mullions and tracery which subsequently formed so attractive an embellishment in pointed architecture, are shown in their infancy. These windows the late Mr. Carter, perhaps the most zealous and indefatigable writer on our national architecture that ever existed, and who surveyed this Church in 1808, styles the architectural three in one. Now, as this window assumes a different form to the lancet windows of the east front, being com
* A Chronicle of London from 1089 to 1483, first printed in 1827, by E. Tyrrell, Esq. Deputy Remembrancer of the City of London.
This prelate also erected the Church of St. Thomas, Portsmouth, between 1210-20. The chancel and transepts still remain, and the style of architecture is similar to that of the church now under consideration.
Gent. Mag. vol. LXXVIII. 606, 699.
posed of a large arch divided into portions by subarches and circles, it is manifestly the work of a more recent period in the history of architecture, than the simple lancet windows of the east front; but at the same time the form of the principal arch and the arrangement of the smaller ones will not allow it to be assigned to a period long subsequent to the commencement of the Chapel. lf we seek for a date in the history of the structure, we shall find that in 1273, Walter Archbishop of York granted thirty days indulgence to all who should contribute to the fabric of this Church, which fact proves that the Church was not finished at that period: here then this window comes in aid of history. Westminster Abbey, built between 1245 and 1280, contains windows resembling in their detail the one under consideration. Thus the completion of the Lady Chapel may, from the evidence afforded by its architecture, be fixed at the same period, the indulgence of Archbishop Walter having been the means of accomplishing the completion of the structure.
There are few buildings of ancient date, in which the actual state of the building agrees so entirely with its history; the antiquary commonly finds dates to reconcile with appearances, which set all his study and his research at defiance. How valuable then is this structure, resting on evidence so well established, of which an act of brutal vandalism would have been the destruction.
The Lady Chapel, viewed in comparison with other edifices in the Metropolis, assimilates in its architecture with the choir of the Temple Church, A.D. 1240; parts of the north transept of Westminster Abbey, A.D. 1250; the Chapel of Lambeth Palace, erected after 1210, and the Crypt of Gisor's or Gerard's Hall, A.D. 1245. The style in which each of these structures is built is popularly designated the "lancet architecture," from the similitude of the points of the windows to a surgeon's lancet; and of this description of architecture St. Saviour's Church affords the largest specimen in London. The few ancient buildings in the Metropolis which have escaped the hand of time and accident, or have been spared from violence, are still sufficient to enable the student to