Clare College, Cambridge
Woolwich Episcopal Area
Bermondsey & Rotherhithe Deanery
Details of the Church
L Dowbiggin & B Glanville
The church is of brick construction with stone dressings built on the site of earlier churches, and dates from 1714-15. It has a crypt below the nave, aisles, tower and sanctuary.
The tower at the west end, incorporating some old stones in the east wall was added in 1738, rebuilt in 1861 and underpinned in 1913. It has a stone colonnade supporting a short spire, surmounted by a fine weather vane, rising above the balustraded parapet of the square brick tower.
The church internally is a rectangle on plan, about 23m x 15m, with a shallow sanctuary projecting, about 3m at the east end beyond the choir which is contained in the rectangle. This sanctuary was probably added in 1738 at the same time as the tower.
The nave has a plastered barrel ceiling with a colonnade of two columns with octagonal panelled bases unequally spaced each side, separating the nave from the north and south aisles which have flat panelled ceilings divided into five bays each.
The easternmost bay of the church, which is only half the length of the others, forms the choir. On the south side of the choir at the east end of the south aisle is the Lady Chapel. The corresponding space on the north side gives access to the modern Hall added to the church and the modern vestry built at the NE corner.
A fine western gallery served by staircases either side houses a magnificent organ with carved and gilded case dated 1764. The screen between the “narthex” and nave was added in the late 1980’s. The side galleries were removed late in the nineteenth century.
The church is entered from a porch in the SW corner of the south aisle served by a flight of steps.
The ground floor of the tower several steps below the nave floor level was used as a baptistry, but the font has now been moved to the narthex and this space is used for meetings.
There is a ringing chamber over, with a clock chamber between it and the belfry, all served by a wooden vice staircase in the NE corner which continues up by ladder to give access to the tower flat. A trap door in the ground floor with steps down lead to the crypt. The belfry contains a peal of 8 bells recast by Mears and Stainbanks, hung to iron frames.