The Royal Foundation of St. Katharine

I took a group on a walking tour of East London.   They had won me in an auction.   The walk included the Royal Foundation of St. Katharine with its very atmospheric post-war chapel, designed by Roderick Enthoven, an otherwise obscure architect who been trained at the AA and taught there in the 1920s.   In the war he served as a Civil Camouflage Officer and as an officer in the British MFAA, responsible for the return of Giambolgna’s equestrian statue of Cosimo II to the Piazza della Signoria.   He obviously had a sensitivity to historic buildings because he was able to incorporate some of the surviving medieval fittings which came from the Foundation’s original home by the Tower alongside, including an Italian reredos:-


And carved lettering by Ralph Beyer, the German letter carver who had been an apprentice of Eric Gill and also worked at Coventry Cathedral:-




4 thoughts on “The Royal Foundation of St. Katharine

  1. How interesting Charles. The wonderful Simon Enthoven, Roderick’s son, was my husband’s partner in his architectural practice Enthoven & Partners in the 70s. Sadly I just heard that Simon passed away earlier this month. Simon was great fun, and a good friend of Hugh Casson. I didn’t know about the St Katharine’s connection

    • It must have been stored somewhere in the city for safe-keeping and was returned on rollers amidst the jubilation of the populace. He gave a lecture on his experiences at the Architectural Association in 1946, which was published in their (now defunct) journal. Charles

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