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Chapel (Only) to the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, Westminster

Description: Chapel (Only) to the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 1 December 1987
English Heritage Building ID: 209186

OS Grid Reference: TQ2667583174
OS Grid Coordinates: 526675, 183174
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5333, -0.1751

Location: Cavendish Avenue, London NW8 9SG NW8 9NH

Locality: Westminster
County: Greater London
Country: England
Postcode: NW8 9NH

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Listing Text

1900/12/14 CIRCUS ROAD
01-DEC-87 (West side)
Chapel (only) to the hospital of St Jo
hn and St Elizabeth


Hospital chapel 1862-3 by George Goldie, founded by Sir George Bowyer, for the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth and for the British Association of the Knights of Malta. Dismantled and rebuilt 1898 with slight modifications by Edward Goldie. Italian Baroque, after the Lorrainian church, Rome. Centrepiece of formerly symmetrical Neo- Georgian hospital by E. Goldie, completed 1901. Portland stone, stock brick, stone and red brick dressings, lead roofs. Rectangular aisleless chapel with cupola over sanctuary. Portland stone symmetrical three- bay pedimented facade of two superimposed Ionic and Corinthian orders. Entrance via eight diminishing stone steps to square headed doorway with pair of oak doors each with bull's eye panel. Plain lunette carrying marble tablet inscribed:

Deo Uni et Trino. In Honorem
S Johanis Baptistae Et Obsequium Ord.
hierosol. a fundamentis Erexit Georius
Bowyer eius D. ord. eques Anno

Flanking niches beneath swags between pilasters; above, shallow relief cross of Order of Malta. Frieze inscribed:


Upper storey central square headed window beneath segmental open pediment on deep brackets over Imperial crown and shield. Flanking sculpted wreaths enclosing cross of Order of Malta. Frieze inscribed:


Shallow pediment bearing cross of Order of Malta, surmounted by double cross of the Holy Sepulchre set back from gable, stone dressed parapet, lead roofs. To rear, drum carrying lead clad dome; above, small cupola with roundheaded glazed openings, surmounted by ball and cross of Order of Malta. Three bay side elevations, at ground floor partly covered by single storey brick extensions of 1999. Stock brick, stone dressings, the upper storey articulated in three bays by Composite stone pilasters between alternating fabric and foliate double swags and garlands flanking inscribed stone plaques, this articulation all of 1898. To each upper storey bay a lunette (of 1862-3) under red brick arch, rising from moulded cornice and beneath slender stone band. Parapet in stock brick, stone pilasters to each bay.

Interior: rectangular, slight recesses for transepts. Liturgical east and west doorways, that to east to perimeter corridor, formerly access for nuns. Liturgical north, priest's, doorway to former sacristry. Upper corridor east entrance to choir tribune, north and south entrances to side tribunes, formerly for patients. High altar under baldachino offset under dome. Lined with Corinthian pilasters in polished red Sicilian jaspar, marble plinths and bases, gilded capitals. Continuous modillion cornice, stopping at choir tribune. Three -bay barrel vaulted nave roof with coffered transverse ribs. Drum with pedimented windows, each alternate window under segmental pediment, spandrels painted with cross of the Order. South elevation enriched doorcase, flanked on each side by simple white marble water stoup under niche. Pair of tribunes to left and right of sanctuary. Alabaster, each with three panels bearing crest and flanking crosses, supported on four double brackets. That to left over doorway, panelled doors probably 1898, with upper bull's eye panels with cross of the Order of Malta. Similar central doorway to north elevation; above, choir tribune on triple brackets, Bowyer arms and flanking crowns, gilded timber lattice screen. Painted panelled doors from tribunes to upper corridor. Nave floor wood block, c1898. (1864 floor noted as coloured tiles laid in fret pattern). Sanctuary floor in white marble with straight step to nave, (1898 plan shows shaped step, possibly never built), Bowyer tomb and memorial tablet. Collegiate nave seating in mahogany with inlay crosses of Malta. Panelled back of rear range defined by Corinthian columns, scrolled arm rests, Corinthian screen to each side, now hinged, front benches removed. High altar, dated 1864, signed Augusto Innocenti Archit., Teodoro Augusti Scolpi.; made in Rome, the gift of the Grand Master to the English Knights. Marble table with scrolled ends, to right bearing arms. Segmental pedimented marble tabernacle with silver beaten panel of lamb under enriched canopy. Baldachino: flat coffered ceiling on four marble Corinthian columns, surmounted by arms flanked by feathers. Left side altar: C18, probably Italian, from the old chapel at Cowdray and the gift of Lord Petre. Marble, with inlaid central panel, offset flanks, Corinthian altarpiece, crucifixion probably in scagliola. To right, altar and tabernacle, C18, formerly belonged to Throckmorton family at Buckland, (Berks), the gift of Cardinal Wiseman. Table and chest of marble and marble inlay slithers, tabernacle in ebony and tortoiseshell surmounted by crucifix. Chandeliers, given by Bowyer. Ceramic stations of the cross. Series of honours boards to Sovereign Order of Malta. Pair of figures, probably Italian, flanking south doorway.

Buildings of England, London 3: North West, Cherry and Pevsner, 1991, p.613.
The Builder, Nov.12, 1864, p.827 - 8.
The Builder, Oct. 22, 1898, p.354, 365
An Historical Tradition. Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth, Canon Louis Marteau, Archivist.
Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth, J.M. Robinson, 1980

Listing NGR: TQ2667583174

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.