Sunday 21 March 2004 3.40pm
Have they restored the formerly derelict parish Watch House (predecessor of police stations) as part of the restoration?
Or did it eventually fall down around a decade ago? I hadn't realised how long it is since I last went into the park!
[i) Historical digression]
The park is the former churchyard of St John Horselydown (sometimes spelled Horsleydown), a church designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor
and John James in 1727 and mostly destroyed in the Second World War. The bizarre steeple in the form of a tapering Ionic column was a famous landmark.
Despite some Googling, I can't find a link to a picture of it!
The 1970s offices for the City Mission are built on the foundations of the church. It was not a candidate for reconstruction after the war, probably because of leading postwar architectural historian Sir John Summerson's description of St John's Horselydown as "a church of supreme dullness ... (and of the steeple as) the most improper thing in the whole of English architecture" (James Maude Richards,ed., The Bombed Buildings Of Britain; A Record Of Architectural Casualties:1940-41, Cheam,Surrey:1942)
My 1953 edition of Summerson's Architecture in Britain 1500-1830 attributes St Johns to William Tuffnell. I rather suspect that the tower and steeple might have been rebuilt if Hawksmoor's involvement had been known.
[ii) Psychogeography digression]
However, Google did lead to a really bizarre Dutch site
with what appears to be a tour following key pages in "From Hell"
- graphic novelist Alan Moore's Jack the Ripper masterwork (with a Hawksmoor
fixation as well as masonic conspiracy theories)
Direct link to St John Horselydown page for the impatient
Post edited (25 Mar 04 10:07)