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The PHOENIX, in Lombard Street.
The IMPERIAL, in Cornhill.
The BRITISH, in the Strand.
The COUNTY, Southampton Street.
The GLOBE, Pall Mall.
The HAND IN HAND, Bridge Street, Blackfriars.
The UNION, Cornhill.
The WESTMINSTER, King Street, Covent Garden.
The SUN, in Cornhill, makes the largest insurances against fire, and the EQUITABLE, in Chatham Place, on lives, but these are not distinguished as buildings.
Besides which are the following Offices for insuring Lives.
The Amicable, Serjeant's Inn.
The Phoenix, Lombard Street.
The Rock, Blackfriars; and some others.
At the East and West End of London.
St. Stephen's, Walbrook, adjacent to the Mansion House of the Lord Mayor, is a church that deserves to be mentioned immediately after St. Paul's Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey, for the, perhaps, unrivalled beauty of the architecture of its interior. For harmony of the proportions, grace, airiness, variety, and elegance, it is not to be surpassed. It is a small church, in the form of a cross, being 75 feet in length, and 36 in breadth. The roof is supported by Corinthian columns, so disposed as to raise an idea of grandeur which the dimensions of the church do not seem to promise. Over the centre, at which the principal aisles cross, is a dome divided into compartments; the roof being partitioned in a similar manner, and the whole being finely decorated. The effect of this building is inexpressibly delightful, the eye at one glance embracing a plan full and complete, and afterwards are seen a greater number of parts than the spectator was prepared to ex
pect. This most beautiful church is the work of Sir Christopher Wren. It is known and admired on the continent as a master-piece of art. Over the altar is a fine painting of the martyrdom of St. Stephen, by West, which was placed there in 1776.
The Church of St. Martin's in the Fields, situated a little to the north of the Strand, is remarkable for a very noble portico, the design of which is taken from an ancient temple. The portico is composed of six columns in front, the effect of which is, however, lessened by iron rails that run from column to column, inclosing the area before the doors. The architect of this church was Gibbs. It was five years in building, and cost 32,000l.
St. George's, Hanover Square, has a portico which, though not so noble as that of St. Martin's, is very beautiful, and the whole exterior of the building has an air of great sweetness and elegance. There is nothing to commend in the interior of either of these two last churches.
The Church of St. Paul, Covent Garden, built after a design of Inigo Jones, is a beautiful specimen of its kind. This church, after undergoing a thorough repair, was burnt down a few years since, by the carelessness of some plumbers in leaving a fire on the roof; it was, however, soon rebuilt. It is so simple in its structure, that it is in fact little more than an ornamented barn; but the effect is very pleasing. There is, however, something ridiculous in the steeple, although handsome in itself, because it rises from the sharp ridge of an abrupt roof.
St. Mary le Strand, usually called the New Church in the Strand, is the reverse of the last. It is an instance of what can be done with ornaments judiciously applied. The proportions of this church are so just, that the whole produces a most beautiful effect. The architect was Gibbs.
St. George's, Bloomsbury, is a handsome stone church, but the spire, and figure of the King at the top of it are void of every kind of taste.
Mary-Bone Church. The parish of St. Mary le Bonne, although the most populous and wealthy of any in the kingdom, has long been disgraced by a church not fit for a moderate sized village. Several chapels, usually called
chapels of ease, were erected to accommodate those parishioners who wished to attend divine service. Most of these were built by private persons on speculation. One of these, on a large scale, was nearly erected when the inhabitants determined to raise money and procure a church that would do honour to the parish. They bought this chapel and the ground on which it was erected, and converted it into a church, by adding a steeple, which, if not in the first style of architecture, is handsome, and supported by a fine and large portico, the pillars of the Corinthian order. The outside view of this church is singular, having a projection at each corner. Within it is fitted up with much elegance, and possesses, what is very singular, a double gallery. It has some fine painted glass windows, and a good organ. The whole is said to have cost the parish 80,0001.
Two more churches deserve to be seen; St. Michael's, on the south side of Cornhill, and St. Dunstan's in the East, situated a little to the north of Lower Thames Street.
The former has a tower, which rises from the ground, of uncommon elegance for its species of architecture, which is Gothic. The latter is now pulled down, but the beautiful steeple remains.
The tower and spire of the latter is one of the most light and airy structures that can be imagined. From the tower, which is square, springs a lantern of a singular form, having arches that support the spire. The church of St. Nicholas, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has a steeple of a similar construction.
St. James's, in Piccadilly, deserves to be visited for a most beautiful baptismal font, of white marble, by Grinling Gibbons. The font is supported by a column, which represents the tree of life, with the story of the serpent tempting our first parents; on the front are three pieces of sculpture-St. John baptizing Christ: St. Philip baptizing the Eunuch; and Noah's Ark, with the dove bearing the olive branch. The whole of this font is peculiar for its sweetness and elegance. Over the altar is some exquisite foliage, carved in wood, which is also the work of the same artist. St. Margaret's, Westminster, adjoining the abbey, is to
be noticed for a curious painted window at the eastern extremity. It represents the crucifixion; on one side is Henry VI. kneeling, with St. George over his head; on the other side is his queen, also kneeling, with St. Catherine over her head.
The window was painted by order of the Magistrates of Dort, as a present from them to Henry VII. but that monarch dying before it was completed, it was put up in Waltham abbey, and remained there till the dissolution, when it was removed to Newhall, in Essex, which afterwards became the property of General Mouk, who preserved the window from the fanatics. In 1758, it was purchased from the owner by the inhabitants of St. Margaret's at the price of 400 guineas. A drawing of this fine example of its kind has been engraved at the cost of the Society of Antiquaries. The inside of this church has been entirely rebuilt, at the expence of 4,500l.
St. Botolph's, in Aldersgate Street, has within a few years, been entirely rebuilt, at an expence of 10,000l. The interior is peculiarly light, elegant, and comfortable; the ceiling is highly ornamented, and the altar decorated with transparencies of the Agony, St. Peter, and St. John, by Pearson: the church is warmed by a small stove under the pavement, communicating a body of warm air through small apertures in the floor. The sexton resides on the spot, and readily admits strangers to view the church.
In St. Andrew's Undershaft, at the corner of St. Mary Axe, which was built in 1532, was buried Stow, the celebrated historian. His monument may still be seen; a well-executed figure sitting at his desk in a gown, and writing.
St. Dunstan s in the West, Fleet Street, is very ancient. The two figures which are on the outside of the clock, and strike the quarters with their clubs, were placed there in the year 1671.
Over the entrance to St. Giles's Church in the Fields is very curious piece of Sculpture, representing the resurrection at the last day.
In St. Giles's, Cripplegate, the celebrated Milton was buried, and his monument still remains.
Most of the churches have underneath them spacious
vaults, which form serious objects of curiosity as the re positories of our ancestors, and may generally be viewed by an application to the clerk; they are, when illuminated, worth exploring. Paddington; Limehouse; St. Giles's; St. Mary Woolnoth's, Lombard Street; St. George's Chapel, South Audley Street (very spacious); St. Thomas's, Southwark; and Mary-le-bonne vaults, are the principal of this description.
There are no other churches in London, that we recollect, which deserve to be particularly commended. St. Mary le Bow, (usually called Bow Church) in Cheapside, and St. Bride's (or St. Bridget's) a little to the south of Fleet Street, have been praised by some writers; we beg leave, however, to dissent from their authority in this matter: they are respectively deformed masses, which is truly surprising, as they were both by Sir Christopher Wren.
In connection with the Churches, many of which are them◄ selves Antiquities, may be introduced
A LIST OF THE MOST REMARKABLE ANTIQUITIES IN AND
London Stone, near St. Swithin's church, in Cannon Street, is supposed to have been the Miliarium of the Ro mans, from which they measured distances to their several stations throughout Britain.
Relics of the ancient wall of London are to be seen in various places; but the most perfect remnants, though of different periods, are to be found in the neighbourhood of Broad Street, Cripplegate, and Ludgate Hill.
The road which is now called Old Street, was a part of one of the Roman military ways which continued from Staines, in Middlesex, to Colchester. It anciently crossed the church-yard at Shoreditch; and considerable vestiges of its former state may be seen in the neighbourhood of Bethnal Green; whence it may be traced almost in a straight line to Old Ford, where it crossed the river Lea to Essex.
Another of the ancient military roads, as its name im