If you log in, you can comment on buildings, submit new photos or update photos that you've already submitted.
Description: Christ Church
Date Listed: 10 May 1974
English Heritage Building ID: 201335
OS Grid Reference: TQ2993988085
OS Grid Coordinates: 529939, 188085
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5767, -0.1262
800/32/46 CROUCH END HILL N8
10-MAY-74 CROUCH END
1861-2 by A W Blomfield. 1867 S aisle. 1873 steeple. 1881 W narthex. 1906 N aisle enlarged by W A Pite
MATERIALS: Ragstone with limestone dressings. Slate roofs with crested red clay tile cappings to the ridges.
PLAN: Nave, chancel, N and S aisles, porch to NE part of the N aisle, NE steeple, W narthex (former baptistry), N and S vestries.
EXTERIOR: The church is built in Gothic Revival style and draws its motifs from church architecture of the late 13th century. It presents its E end to the main road and this is made more dramatic by the fall of the land away to the N and E. The most prominent feature is the steeple located to the N of the chancel. The tower is of three stages, the two lower ones being plain and the third one, the belfry, having pairs of two-light windows with Geometrical tracery on each face. The spire is of the broach type and has a single tier of lucarnes to the cardinal faces at the level of the tops of the broaches. The E window is of five lights with Geometrical tracery. The aisles which are under their own separate gables have two-light side windows: those on the S have unusually detailed, robust plate tracery; those on the N have rather more conventional windows which verge on having plate tracery. The W end has a pair of two-light windows and above them a circular traceried window. There is a NE porch, a rather unusual position but accounted for by the fact that the church has to be approached from the E. The chancel is quite short for a church of the 1860s.
INTERIOR: Originally the interior had polychrome wall colouration according to Cherry and Pevsner who say it was whitened in the 1930s. This is an unfortunate treatment of Blomfield's strong and characterful interior. Even the piers are painted a beige colour. The nave and aisles are divided by five-bay arcades, the E arch of which is made wider and higher to simulate the opening into transepts. The piers are round and have very ornate foliage capitals in the style of c1200. The carving was sponsored by individual members of the congregation and on the second capital on the N from the E the sponsor William Block even saw fit to have his name carved along with the date 1861. Over the arches, which have a small chamfer, there is evidence of bare brick whitewashed over. In the four W bays there are short two-light clerestory windows. The three arches to the W narthex/baptistry have been blocked with the conversion of this area into a chapel in the 1980s. The roof over the nave is arch-braced to a collar while that in the chancel is canted. In the W part of the S aisle an area has been divided off to create office space.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The most lavish feature is the reredos and the panels flanking it making much use of opus sectile. The reredos depicts Christ in a mandorla flanked by angels. To the sides of the reredos angels stand under gabled-headed canopies. The pulpit is a particularly fine piece - round, vigorously detailed with Veronese-style marble panels punctuated by shafts of other marbles: it stands on a small, corbelled-out base. At the E end of the N aisle is a fine tripartite bronze First World War memorial with a central figure of a knight by L F Roslyn. There is good stained glass in the E window by Lavers and Westlake, 1874. The N aisle window depicting Hope and Charity is by Selwyn Image, 1908.
HISTORY: Christ Church was built to provide more Anglican church accommodation in this area of expanding N London in the 1860s. The church was designed by one of the most active and successful church architects of the Gothic Revival, Arthur William Blomfield (1829-99) who was the fourth son of Bishop Charles J Blomfield of London (bishop 1828-56). He built a number of churches in this area and this was his first. He was articled to P.C. Hardwick and began independent practice in 1856 in London. His early work is characterised by a strong muscular quality and the use of structural polychrome (now covered over here) often with continental influences. He became diocesan architect to Winchester, hence a large number of church-building commissions throughout the diocese. He was also architect to the Bank of England from 1883. Blomfield was knighted in 1889 and was awarded the RIBA's Royal Gold Medal in 1891.
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner. The Buildings of England: London 4: North, 1999, p. 550.
Information displayed in the church.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION:
Christ Church is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is of special interest as an early work of one of the most prolific and successful church architects of the 19th century, A W Blomfield, who built many churches in N London. It is designed in a Gothic Revival style which draws on the architecture of the 13th century although freely interpreted for its times, and it makes an important visual contribution to its locality
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.