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the Board for Northumberland House was 500,000l., for other property required for the improvement 80,1937. The construction of the street, with its subways, vaults, and wooden pavement, cost somewhat over 20,000l. Altogether a costly improvement; it is a pity the most was not made of it.
A new thoroughfare has also been opened to the Embankment through the Savoy; and the ground has been surveyed for the extension of the Embankment itself beyond the Houses of Parliament, so as to join the Millbank Embankment, when there will be a continuous river wall and way of nearly four miles from Blackfriars to Chelsea. At the same time it is proposed to construct a new street from Abingdon Street to the Millbank Penitentiary. With the important new thoroughfare from Oxford Street to Shoreditch considerable progress has been made, and some portions have been completed and opened for traffic. In connection with it a new street has been formed from Tabernacle Square to Shoreditch, opposite Commercial Street. Other street improvements are in hand, and altogether the Board is undoubtedly doing much good work, and assisting other bodies in doing more.
The Public Health Act, 1875, and the Act for the Prevention of the Pollution of Rivers are calculated to effect great sanitary benefits. The latter Act was altered in passing through the Houses in the interests of the manufacturers, but by no means in the interest of the public. But though its benefits will in many localities be deferred in consequence, the gain is unquestionable and substantial. Many urban authorities are already taking measures for carrying out the intentions of the legislature; Bradford, for example, has undertaken to spend 200,000l. for a new reservoir, and Lincoln, Leeds, and other places have entered into heavy engagements for sewerage works and improving the water supply, and other towns are ordering preliminary surveys and inquiries. The difficulties in the way are undoubtedly very great. No satisfactory and economical mode of disposing of town sewage by sewage farms and irrigation or filtration has yet been brought into operation; chemical processes fail to purify the effluent water, and yet, most properly, towns are now prohibited from discharging their refuse matter into what they have hitherto considered to be their natural outlets, the streams. In villages the difficulty is equally great, the necessity equally urgent, of providing a sufficient supply of wholesome water. The horrors of the actual water supply of our villages are a national scandal.
The Artizans and Labourers Dwellings' Act has as yet borne no material fruit in the metropolis, the trumpery scheme put forth by the Metropolitan Board of Works having been summarily set aside by the Home Secretary. But one or two parishes have taken the initiatory steps, and no doubt by next year some actual progress will have been made. Meantime several of the provincial towns have resolved to adopt the provisions of the Act, and Birmingham has set a noble example to London by
the adoption of a scheme that, in its breadth, liberality, and comprehensiveness, is a model which the Metropolitan Board will do well to study.
Looking at what has been accomplished in providing improved dwellings for artizans, &c., we notice with pleasure the continued progress of the Peabody Fund Buildings. Several new blocks have been opened, and twelve new blocks of 200 tenements in the Grosvenor Road, Pimlico, are nearly completed. When these are opened the trustees will have provided improved dwellings for about 2,000 families, at rents averaging 4s. a-week for each tenement. In the household and sanitary arrangements of the more recent buildings the trustees have profited by experience, and the buildings generally are exceptionally healthy, few cases of infectious disease occurring in them, and the death rate being much below the average. The Improved Industrial Dwellings Company have also greatly extended their operations. Their large new blocks of buildings in the Goswell Road are very superior structures. They have now about 3,000 tenements. The Model Lodging Houses Association aims to supply the necessities of a lower stratum of society, and is, we believe, doing good service. Industrial dwellings have been built, and others are building, in many country towns.
In another direction we may notice the very commendable effort made by the Fishmongers' Company, who have built ten substantial and well fitted blocks of dwellings, providing tenements for 80 families, on their estate, Lock's Fields, Walworth, a locality where such dwellings are much wanted. The rent is fixed at a rate calculated to afford a fair interest on the outlay, which was about 13,000l.
The block and flat system is extending in London. Near the "Elephant and Castle" in the New Kent Road, some large blocks have been constructed, with a view "to meet the requirements of families of the middle classes," that is, of persons who can afford to pay from 10s. to 20s. a-week for a set of rooms. The buildings, which are a private speculation, will, when all are erected, cover an area of four acres, be four storeys high, have an elevation of 60 feet towards the Kent Road, with bay windows and balconies, and provide dwellings for nearly 600 families. The interiors are said to be fitted with every household and sanitary convenience; the windows have Venetian blinds, and gas is laid on to the uppermost rooms.
More remarkable than these are the Queen Anne's Mansions, Bird-cage Walk, St. James's Park, a block of improved "dwellings," erected for those, whether heads of families or bachelors, who can afford to pay a rental of £100 a year and upwards for a suite of rooms, and combining therewith, by means of co-operative housekeeping, the comforts and advantages of a club-house or hotel. The building, with little pretension to external elegance, is some ten storeys (116 feet) high, with wings, eight storeys (100 feet) high, and provides over 200 distinct dwellings, the
upper floors being reached by hydraulic lifts. Each floor contains three suites of dwellings, each having two living rooms and a bath room. Each dwelling is distinct, but two or three (the whole floor) may be hired by one tenant. Servants are supplied by the establishment, and charged for at the rate of 17. a week for each dwelling. All cooking is performed in the central kitchen, whence tenants are supplied with meals at cost price either in their private sitting rooms or in the general dining or coffee room. Trams run from the kitchen to the service lifts, and there is a hot plate on each floor, so that the dinners are served more quickly and better than in most great hotels. Besides the grand coffee room there are drawing rooms, reading rooms, galleries, vestibules, a telegraph office, and every modern convenience, and to crown all, the roof is flat, and affords an almost unrivalled view over London and its suburbs, to the Surrey Hills in one direction, and Highgate and Hampstead in another. A tower at one angle, with a belvedere 150 feet high, will afford a still wider prospect. The ground floor is to be let as chambers or offices for professional persons.
Baths and washhouses have been built, or are in process of erection, in Peckham, St. Pancras, and other metropolitan parishes, and in some provincial towns. At Rugby Dr. JexBlake, the head master, has constructed a swimming bath at a cost of 3,000l., as a gift to Rugby School. A better present could hardly have been made. The number of deaths by drowning of persons unable to swim, reported in the newspapers during the summer months, is quite horrifying. All boys ought to be taught to swim, and it is most discreditable to those who have the training of boys that the art of swimming is so generally neglected. Every large school ought to have its swimming bath, or a place specially reserved for swimming, with a competent teacher and superintendent.
The Corporation of Birmingham having applied to Miss Ryland (the donor of Cannon Hill Park) to sell them a piece of land at Small Heath, where they were desirous to form another park; the lady declined to sell the land, but offered to present the town instead with a lease of it for 500 years, at a peppercorn rent. The estate, which is about two and a half miles from the centre of the town, has an area of 42 acres, and is beautifully wooded.
Boston Castle Grounds, Rotherham, have been leased by the Corporation, and converted into public recreation grounds of ample extent and picturesque character. Reading Recreation Ground, by the liberality of Alderman Palmer, has received an addition of 13 acres, about doubling its former extent.
At Salford, the Corporation some time since decided to form three new parks—or recreation grounds, the largest is only 16 acres in extent-in different parts of the town. Two, at Pendleton and Higher Broughton, are completed, the third, at Ordsall Hall, will, it is hoped, be ready by next summer.
3. CHURCHES AND CHAPELS.
In church building we are moving quietly along the old lines. Several good churches have been built, both in and around London and in the country, but none of any remarkable size, grandeur, or even novelty. It need hardly be said, therefore, that they are all Gothic, and mostly of that particular type known as First Pointed or Early English, though for these new churches the latter designation would be particularly inappropriate, as in most instances a foreign character is more or less present, and in some is predominant.
St. Mary, Newington, consecrated in April last, was built in place of the former parish church, which, from its projecting into the road, caused an awkward narrowing of the busy thoroughfare known as Newington Butts, near the Elephant and Castle. The new church stands a few hundred yards farther down the Kennington Road. It is of Kentish rag with Bath stone dressings, and comprises nave with aisles, chancel, porch, tower, and spire-the latter is yet unfinished. The nave, of five bays, is 100 feet long, 35 feet wide, and 70 feet high to the ridge of the roof. The chancel is 44 feet by 32 feet, and of equal height with the nave. It is lighted by five large lancets with a rose above, and twelve small windows on the sides-a continuation of the clerestorey windows of the nave. Accommodation is provided for 1,200 persons on the floor, and 150 children in a gallery over the porch. The cost was about 20,000l. The architect was Mr. J. Fowler, of Louth.
St. Agnes, Kennington, a short distance south of the church just noticed, is a somewhat ambitious edifice of brick and stone, late First Pointed in style, erected from the designs of Mr. G. G. Scott, jun. The church is 170 feet long; the nave and aisles 55 feet wide; the chancel floor is raised above the nave, and divided from it by a screen and rood loft. The walls are 48 feet high, the roof, which is half barrel shaped and boarded, is continuous over the nave and chancel, a bell gable over the chancel arch marking the division. It is proposed to decorate the interior somewhat richly, and. provision is made for frescoes, &c. tower is left for erection at a future day.
All Saints, Eden Grove, Stoke Newington, designed by Messrs. Dellman and Allen, is a late First Pointed cruciform building, of yellow brick with red and black bands and dressings of Bath stone, and comprises nave, with aisles, clerestorey, and triforium, narthex, sanctuary, and chancel. The north transept serves as an organ chamber, the south as a morning chapel. The narthex opens into the nave by an arcade of three arches. The shafts of the clerestorey and sedilia are of red Dumfries stone. The roof is barrel vaulted, and divided into panels, which are decorated in distemper with mottoes, monograms, &c. The font is suitable for baptism by immersion. A tower is to be erected, when funds are obtained, on the site of the present vestry.
St. Paul's, Central Street, Goswell Road, Clerkenwell, is a solidly built fabric of Kentish rag and Bath stone, First Pointed in style, designed by Mr. Ewan Christian. This is one of the churches built from funds obtained by the removal of City churches. The pulpit, font, communion table, chairs, bells, and royal arms, belonged to Sir Christopher Wren's demolished church of St. Mildred, Poultry, opposite the Mansion House.
St. Mary the Virgin, Crown Street, Soho, occupies the site of the Greek Church of St. Mary, dedicated in 1677. The present buildings, which have been raised by degrees as funds were obtained, comprise the church (only in part completed), clergy house (a lofty building of six storeys), and spacious schools. The church, designed by Mr. Carpenter, is First Pointed in style, of red brick, very lofty, and comparatively plain externally, but elaborately decorated within. The chancel, the part first completed, is 36 feet by 34 feet, and 60 feet high to the crown of the vault; the ridge of the roof is 80 feet high. The sills of the windows are 30 feet above the floor of the altar dais. The altar is reached by a flight of twelve steps. In the space above it is a marble statue of the Saviour. The nave, of four bays, is to be of lower pitch than the chancel and less embellished. St. Augustine, Lynton Road, South Bermondsey, is a First Pointed building of red brick and Bath stone, designed by Messrs. Jarvis and Son, and consists of nave with aisles, narthex, and octagonal baptistery, deep chancel, and tower on the north, the basement of which is fitted as an organ chamber. Beneath the whole is a vaulted crypt.
Among the new churches in the environs may be noticed Christ Church, Beckenham, Kent, a First Pointed building of Suffolk brick and Bath stone, designed by Messrs. Blashell and Haywood. The nave piers are polished monoliths of dark Shap granite. The tower on the south-west is surmounted by a spire 117 feet high.
St. Peter's, Clapham Junction, is a First Pointed church, of coloured bricks with dressings of red brick and Bath stone. It comprises nave with apsidal west end, aisles, south chancel and aisles, organ chamber, and clergy and choir vestries, southwest tower and spire 150 feet high, and north-west porch, in a niche in the gable of which is a statue of the patron saint. The chief feature of the interior is the unusual width of the nave. The nave arcades, of five bays, are borne on clustered columns of Pennant stone surmounted by carved capitals. The arches are of moulded bricks. The roof is open timber work of massive construction. South of the chancel is the minstrels' gallery and organ loft. The pulpit and font, of pale alabaster, are elaborately, carved, the work of Mr. H. Hems, of Exeter. The architect was Mr. William White.
St. Stephen, Cambridge Park, Twickenham, designed by Messrs. Lockwood and Mawson, is a late First Pointed church, with a large Second Pointed west window. It is of Kentish rag and Bath stone, and comprises nave and aisles; the chancel and spire remain for erection at a future day,