Ironwork by the choir stalls, St James the Less, Westminster, by G. E. Street
St James the Less, Westminster, by G. E. Street

Ironwork by the choir stalls

George Edmund Street

1861

St James the Less, Westminster

Vauxhall Bridge Road, London

St James the Less was built as a tribute to Dr James Monk, first Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, by his three daughters. Westminster Abbey donated land for the church in what was then one of the worst areas of Westminster, and the sisters chose George Edmund Street as their architect. Street, then in his mid-thirties, lavished care on every detail of the building, right down from its tall sturdy tower to the railings outside and the almsboxes just inside the main entrance. Philip Watkins reminds us that Street was in Italy when he designed it, and the tower, with its semi-precious stones below the spire and spirelets, does indeed resemble a campanile.

Photograph and text Jacqueline Banerjee

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