St Peter's Church - Kensington Park Road, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.752 W 000° 12.174
30U E 694083 N 5710532
Quick Description: This blue plaque is on the wall of St Peter's Church in Kensington Park Road.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 8/17/2012 11:26:39 AM
Waymark Code: WMF3K9
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Brentorboxer
Views: 1

Long Description:

A historical plaque, on the front wall of the church, tells us:

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
St. Peter's Church
One of the last churches built for the Church
od England in the Victorian Classical style.
The architect was Thomas Allom who
designed Stanley Gardens opposite and it
was consecrated on 7th January 1857. The
magnificent interior was further embellished
in 1879 by Charles Barry Jnr., son of the
architect of the Houses of Parliament.

A double-sided sheet entitled 'The History and Architecture of St Peter's Church Notting Hill', by Leslie du Cane, dated September 1997, tells us:

Development took place rapidly during the 1840s and early 1850s on Ladbroke's Kensington Park estate. Consequently, it became clear very soon after St John's was opened in 1845, that an additional church was needed in the area. The site for the church was presented by Charles Henry Blake Esquire (1794-1872), the area's most successful property developer. Blake had spent most of his life in Bengal, initially as an indigo planter in the family business, and later as a rum and sugar manufacturer. By 1843 he had retired and come to England. Blake lived at No 24 Kensington Park Gardens from 1854 to 1859.

St Peter's was designed by the architect, Thomas Allom, as an integral part of his design for Kensington Park Gardens, Stanley Crescent and Stanley Gardens. His Ladbroke Estate housing, designed in 1852-3, and St Peter's Church are Allom's principal architectural work. Christchurch (1847-8) in Highbury is another Allom church. Today, however, Allom is better known as an artist than as an architect.

The foundation stone of St Peter's was laid in November 1855, and it was consecrated on 7 January 1857 by the Bishop of London, Archibald Campbell Tait, who in 1869 was to become Archbishop of Canterbury. At the time of its consecration, the church could accommodate 1,400 worshippers. It is probably the last 19th century Church of England church to be built in London in the classical style. The church is a building of exceptional architectural quality, and is deservedly listed Grade II*. The magnificent western facade, with its bold pediment and entablature carried on six engaged Corinthian columns is best appreciated from Stanley Gardens. Within, the elegant gallery fronts each contain three panels ornamented with the Keys of St Peter, floral swags and winged putti.

In 1879 the church was enlarged by the addition of an apsidal chancel, which has double arches supported on Corinthian columns of Torquay red marble - these columns cost a mere £48 each! The spandrels of the western arch are ornamented with a beautiful pair of angels bearing gilded trumpets and garlands. Between 1990 and 1994 a programme of restoration works was carried out restoring the interior of the church to its former glory.

Church (1857) Thomas Allom (1804-1872)
Chancel (1879) James Edmeston FRIBA FSI (1824-1898) {father}
James Stanning Edmeston ARIBA (1844-1887) {son}
Chancel/Pulpit (1879) Charles Barry FSA FRIBA (1823-1900)

In 1870-1 the Edmestons had been the architects for the "Rhineland Romanesque" St Michael's Church in Ladbroke Grove. Charles Barry junior was the eldest son of Sir Charles Barry, the architect with Pugin of the Houses of Parliament. Charles Barry junior was a distinguished architect in his own right. He was President of the Royal Institute of British Architects from 1876 to 1879, and his architectural work included both Dulwich College (1866-70) and New Burlington House (1869-73) in Piccadilly.

Pulpit (1879) Thomas Nelson Maclean (1845-1894)
{The Call of St Peter, The Trial of Faith & The Charge}

S Aisle Frances Susanna Addams (1829-1860)
{sculptor: Matthew Noble (1818-1876)}
Frances Susanna was the first wife of the first incumbent at St Peter's, the Rev Francis Holland Addams (1826-1891). Between January 1860 and January 1862 Addams's wife and four of his five children died; in February 1862 he resigned his incumbency.

N Aisle Louisa Mary Forsyth, (1859-1876) & Emily Vesey Dawson Hire Forsyth (1855-1878)
The SS Strathclyde was sailing from London to Bombay, when on 17 February 1876 she was involved in a "dreadful collision" with the SS Franconia about a mile outside Dover harbour, as a result of which she sank within about 10 minutes. 15 of the passengers were drowned, one of whom was a 16 year old girl, Louisa Mary Forsyth.

Foyer Dr John Robbins MA DD FSA (1832-1906)
{sculptors: Darsie Rawlins ARCA FRBS &
Joan Hassall OBE (1906-1988)}
Chancel Steps Horatia Nelson Cox (1845-1925)
{1st cousin twice removed of Admiral Lord Nelson}

The wall of the apse is decorated with an important work in Venetian mosaic. The subject is Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper", and the work was executed by Messrs Burke & Salviati. The copy for the mosaicists was made from the Royal Academy's copy of da Vinci's work that was made by his pupil, Oggione. The treatment differs from the original in the arrangement of the background, which was designed by Charles Barry junior and is made to harmonise with the architecture in this part of the church. The mosaic was erected in 1880.

Stained Glass
S Chapel / N Wall (1901) Artist: Arthur J Dix & Baptistery (1905)
The west window was the original east window of the church; it was moved to its present position in 1879, when the apse was constructed. This window's design is a copy of Raphael's Feed My Sheep cartoon; note that, when viewed from the nave, the image is seen back to front!

The easternmost nave aisle and gallery windows are memorials to  the wives of Thomas Eykyn (1825-1892). The reason that both the gallery windows display the same coat of arms is that his wives were sisters, Jane (1829-1856) and Anne Sarah (1827-1869), daughters of Richard Gilbert. The Eykyn motto, "ESSE QUAM VIDERI', may be translated as "To be rather than seem to be". Extensive work to renovate the windows is currently being carried out.

Organ Grade 1 Listed
Installation (1905-13) J W Walker & Sons (London)
Although erected in 1905, it was not until June 1913 that, with the addition of the last nine stops, it was completed according to the original specification. The organ pipes are divided between two organ chambers, sited north and south of the chancel; the action is tubular-pneumatic."

As mentioned, the church is Grade II* listed. The entry at the English Heritage website [visit link] tells us:

"Church. 1855-7. T Allom. Chancel added 1879 by Barry and Edmeston. Stone. Classical. Three bay pedimented facade with giant Corinthian half columns. Round-headed doors to ground floor. Pedimented windows above. Two stage western tower to centre with applied Corinthian columns, clock, upper octagonal stage and dome. Interior galleried with Corinthian giant order, thermal windows to clerestory and arched chancel with apse. Coffered ceiling. Plays important role in Ladbroke Grove planned layout, closing vista of the grand Stanley Gardens."

Type of Historic Marker: Metal plaque fixed to a wall

Historical Marker Issuing Authority: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Age/Event Date: 1/7/1857

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Related Website: Not listed

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