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ST. CLEMENT'S DANES,
Strand. A handsome structure, chiefly of the Corinthian order ; erected in 1680, by Sir Christopher Wren, except the tower, which owes its present elevation of one hundred and sixteen feet to Mr. Gibbs, by whom it was added in 1719. On the north and south sides are domed porticos, supported by six Ionic columns. The altar is carved wainscot, of the Tuscan order; and the chancel is paved with marble. In the vestry is a picture (formerly the altar piece), some of the figures of which are said to be portraits of the wife and children of the Pretender.
Bishop Berkely, celebrated by Pope as having “every virtue under heaven," was buried here.
ST. MARY-LE-STRAND, Strand: one of the first churches erected by Queen Anne's commissioners, from the designs of Gibbs, and finished in 1723. “It is,” says Walpole, “a monument of the piety more than the taste of the nation.”
The exterior has a double range of columns, one over the other, with entablatures, pediments, and balustrades; and in the intercolumniations there are ornamented niches. The western entrance is by a flight of steps, cut in the sweep of a circle, and leads to a circular portico of Ionic columns, covered with a dome and crowned by an elegant vase. The steeple is of the Corinthian order; and is light though solid. The interior walls are decorated with duplicated ranges of pilasters; the east end is semicircular.
This church stands on the spot where in former times stood a famous maypole, made still more famous by its removal in 1718, when it was given to Sir Isaac Newton,
as a stand for his large telescope. Pope makes this the
But now (80 Anne and piety ordain)
ST. MARTIN'S, St. Martin's-lane, erected between the years 1721 and1726. at a cost of £37,000, from designs by Gibbs, on the site of a church which was taken down in 1721. At the west end is a portico, which for utility, compact beauty, and perfect unity of combination, is unsurpassed in the metropolis : it. consists of six Corinthian columns in front, and two on the return, supporting a pediment: the cornice and entablature, crowned by a balustrade, are continued along the sides of the church, together with pilasters to correspond with the columns. The tower is surmounted by a fine spire; the whole forming a noble work, not unworthy of Wren in his brightest days; and almost justifies the high eulogy of Savage, in the “ Wanderer :"
“O Gibbs! whose art the solemn fane can raise
Where God delights to dwell and man to praise.” The interior of the church is a perfect picture of architectural beauty and neatness of accommodation. Columns, of the Corinthian order, support an elliptical arched roof; a form supposed to be particularly adapted to assist the propogation of sound. All the parts are nicely distributed; and nothing can be added and nothing can be taken away. It is complete in itself; and refuses the admission of all other ornament. In the vestry room is a well executed model of the church, also portraits of the incumbents since the year 1670, and a bust of Dr. Richards.
ST. JAMES', Piccadilly, built by Sir Christopher Wren, in 1684, is a plain edifice, with rusticated stone quoins and architraves. The harmony of proportion in the interior is truly admirable. It is divided transversely by two ranges of Corinthian columns supporting the roof, which have an imposing appearance. Over the altar is some exquisite carving of fruit and foliage, by the celebrated Grimling Gibbons : the elaborate font, of white marble, is also by the same artist; it is supported by a column representing the tree of life, with the serpent twining round it: on the bason is a representation of the baptism of Christ in the river Jordan, and two other scriptural subjects.
Here were buried Dr. Akensido, che author of " Pleasures of the Imagination;" and Tom D'Urfey, the wit and poet of the time of Charles II., who died 1723. A plain stone to his memory is affixed on the south side of the tower. There is also a tablet in honour of Dr. Sydenham.
CHAPEL ROYAL Whitehall. This noble room, forty feet high, formerly the banquetting hall, was converted by George I. into a chapel royal, in which service is performed every Sunday morning and afternoon. The ceiling, representing the apotheosis of James I., which is treated in nine compartments, was painted by Rubens, and has since beers retouched by Cipriani ; the former having received £5000 for his labour, and the latter £2000.
ST. MARY'S, Lambeth-walk. This church is remarkable as having afforded a temporary shelter from the rain to Maria D'Este, Queen of James II., who after crossing the water from Whitehall, remained here on the night of December 6th, 1688, till a coach took her to Gravesend. The tower, which is eighty-seven feet high, was erected in 1735, and the body of the church about the close of the fifteenth century. In one of the windows is the figure of a pedlar, and his dog, who bequeathed to the parish a piece of land, still known as Pedlar's Acre. In the south aisle is the monument of the celebrated antiquary, Elias Ashmole; and in the chancel there are several of the archbishops of Canterbury. The churchyard contains the tomb of the Tradescants, founders of the Ashmolean Museum, at Oxford, erected in 1662, and restored at the expense of the parish in 1773, when the following inscription, originally intended for it, was engraved upon the stone.
Know stranger, ere thou pass, beneath this stone