Altar, St James the Less, Westminster, by G. E. Street
St James the Less, Westminster, by G. E. Street

Altar, showing Street's richly detailed east wall, St James the Less, Westminster, designed by designed by George Edmund Street. 1861. Vauxhall Bridge Road, London. Photograph and text Jacqueline Banerjee [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

Philip Watkins explains that the font and the altar were of special importance to a Tractarian like Street, hence the extraordinarily rich decoration of the wall behind the altar, with semi-precious stones inlaid here too, and an incised cross; and the elaborate ironwork canopy over the marble font near the entrance. Before being put in place, this unusual structure (like the Hereford Screen by Scott and Francis Skidmore) was exhibited: this time at the London Exhibition of 1861. Interestingly, there is no chancel screen in St James the Less, because it would have partially obscured the altar (Mitchell and Mitchell 30). But the ironwork by the choir stalls and to the side, which has a delicate floral design, compensates for this.

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Jackson, Neil. "The UnEnglishness of G. E. Street's Church of St. James-the-Less." Architectural History. 23 (1980): 86-94.

Mitchell, Anthony and Olive. Thomas Earp: Eminent Victorian Sculptor. Buckingham: Baron, 2002.

Speel, Bob. "St James the Less, Vauxhall Bridge Road."

Watkins, Philip. The Church and Its History: St James the Less (1994; 8-page pamphlet available at the church).

Weinreb, Ben and Christopher Hibbert, eds. The London Encyclopaedia. London: Macmillan, rev. ed. 1992.

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Last modified 15 February 2008