Monday, 11 May 2015

A Year in Pictures – 11 May 2015 – Cherub

As mentioned in my post for 31 January last, the pulpit from St Benet Gracechurch is now in St Olave Hart Street.

Here is a detail from one of the three beautifully carved facets of the pulpit, each of which features a cherub's face surrounded by ornate foliage. This particular one looks to the south and is most easy to shoot in natural light, because it gets plenty of it. St Benet's was demolished in the 19th century to allow for the widening of Gracechurch Street and to release funds for the construction of St Benet Mile End Road. Trinity House made funds available for St Olave's to buy St Benet's pulpit, while its font went to All Hallows Lombard Street.

Demolition was the fate of a number of City churches in the 19th century, which saw a marked reduction in the residential population of The Square Mile as the suburbs were extensively developed, a process accelerated by the arrival of the railways. The Lombard Street church was itself demolished in 1937, its key fitments and tower being transferred to Twickenham and housed in the new church of All Hallows Twickenham, built to serve the spiritual needs of the new housing developments close to the A316 (otherwise known as the Chertsey Road) that leads west out of London.

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