St. Mary-le-Strand

As a break from issues relating to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, it was a great treat to see the inside of St. Mary-le-Strand, for the Save Christmas Carol Service. It is not normally open, sandwiched by motor traffic as if no better than a traffic island, but inside is beautiful, stately and calm, the first of the Commissioners’ Churches, begun in February 1714, designed by James Gibbs, recently returned from his training for the Catholic priesthood in Rome. The wonderful lozenged ceiling is by Giuseppe Artari and Giovanni Bagutti, ‘the best fretworkers that ever came into England’.

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