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Description: Church of St Bartholomew the Less, St Bartholomew's Hospital
Date Listed: 4 January 1950
English Heritage Building ID: 199825
OS Grid Reference: TQ3188281600
OS Grid Coordinates: 531882, 181600
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5179, -0.1006
WEST SMITHFIELD EC1
St Bartholomew's Hospital
TQ 3181 NE 2/24 4.1.50 Church of St Bartholomew
Anglican church and hospital chapel. C15 south-west tower; late medieval brick walling and some masonry, possibly of an earlier date, to north-west vestry. The octagonal nave, which is built from brick, stone and cast-iron, dates to 1823-5, its architect being Thomas Hardwick, then Hospital Surveyor, who was reproducing George Dance's octagonal nave of 1789-91; the builder was Peto. Five-sided chancel and window tracery added in an 1862-3 restoration by Philip Hardwick. Fittings added through the 1860s. Further restorations in the C20, particularly in 1950 to repair war damage; stained glass by Hugh Easton from this time. The post-medieval work in a Gothic Revival manner. Five-sided apse, pierced with lancets; shafts to rib vaulting; chancel arch and steps. Octagonal nave, with triangular areas on the diagonal axes; stellar vault with robust bosses.
Geometric tracery of 1862-3 to clerestorey windows on the diagonal axes of the octagonal drum; diaphragm arches to triangular areas below. Perpendicular tracery of two and three lights below, most with Y-shaped heads. Organ to west gallery; narthex to east of entrance of one bay. Encaustic tile paving, pews, some of which along walls, and altar rail, all of 1862-3; carved pulpit
given by Philip Hardwick 1864. The floor of the main body of the church is approximately two-and-a-half feet above ground level, a peculiarity which has not been fully explained but which may indicate the presence of vaults. Chandeliers in a late C18 manner suspended from central boss and apex of diaphram arches. Good collection of monuments and brasses of C15 to C20. Those of particular note: Brass in vestry to William Markeby (obit 1439) and his wife; memorial to John and Mary Darker, 1784, 1800, signed by J Binley. Aedicular monument to Thomas Bodley in north-east corner. Octagonal Anglican churches are very rare; Dance adopted the plan in part as an expedient, fitting the piers into the roughly square area enclosed by the medieval nave and aisle walls. He may have been influenced by the dozen non-conformist octagonal churches built between 1761 and 1776. He used a similar plan for the rebuilding of Micheldever tower in Hampshire, 1806-8, again
retaining the medieval tower at the west end. To judge from Dance's drawings, Hardwick was relatively faithful to the earlier designs but was compelled to replace the filling medieval walls retained by Dance with new construction.
Listing NGR: TQ3188281600
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.