Wednesday, 27 April 2011


St Andrew’s Church
A medieval stone church was built in the 15th Century in Holborn, of which only the tower now remains. The church survived the Great Fire of 1666 but as it was already in a bad state of repair Christopher Wren rebuilt it.

He rebuilt from the foundations, making the crypt that still exists beneath the church today, and clad the tower in marble adding an upper storey in a more classical style, all completed in 1704. It is his largest parish church.

St Andrew’s engaged the Victorian Gothic architect Samuel Teulon to build a new vicarage and Court House on the South side of St Andrews. He also substantially remodelled the interior of the church. However, his alterations were destroyed when on the night of the 16th April 1941 the church was bombed and gutted. All that remained of the original building was the exterior walls and tower. After much delay, it was decided that it would be restored “stone for stone and brick for brick” to the original Wren designs.

The present building was opened in 1961 with its new status as a Guild Church, a church without a parish designed to serve the local working community.

The nave is broad, with a high barrel-vaulted roof carried on slender Corinithian columns, with gilded plasterwork everywhere. The aisles and west end all have galleries.

In January 2005 a new large icon cross was installed, made for the site by the Monastic Family Fraternity of Jesus in Vallechiara.

The main entrance is from Holborn Viaduct, but a second way in is through the west door: above and either side of this are the statues of two children (1696) from a local poor-house school.

The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950.

Despite it being fifty years since the post war restoration, it all looks too new - it is light, spacious but somehow seemed a little sterile. &