The Boston tea party

Rayners Lane


Enamelled bronze pan

Park Royal

Hoa Hakananai’a

A walk down Portobello (part two)

Lambeth North

Richmond railway bridge


Bronze head of Augustus

Tower bridge (part five)

Cranberry and lemon scones

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St Katharine Cree
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St Katharine's is in a category by itself, for it was built in 1628-31 in a mixture of Gothic and Classical styles which has no parallel in London's churches. It was built in that brief period when William Laud was the Bishop of London, and when efforts were made to restore and enrich church buildings that had suffered the depredations of the Tudor Reformation. Laud consecrated the church on 31 January 1631.

St Katharine Cree

The monument to Sir Nicholas Throckmorton (died 1571) stands above the altar in the Laud chapel. His daughter married Sir Walter Raleigh.

The church stands at the corner of Leadenhall Street and Creechurch Lane. The south-west tower dates from 1504, except for the uppermost part and for the cupola, which are of 1776. It is tempting to suggest, after a first glance at the church, that it is a building of 1504, remodelled in 1628-31. But the square-headed south windows with cusped lights, which could so easily be late-mediaeval on the basis of those details, have eared labels and distinct aprons or panels beneath them, which could not possibly be of 1504; also, the footings of the earlier aisle wall can be seen. So this amalgam of styles is 17th-century. The only plausible designer so far suggested is Edmund Kinsman.

St Katharine Cree

The east end of the nave shows the church's mixture of Gothic (in the rose window and the five lights below) and the Classical (in the Corinthian columns and coffered arches).

The interior is divided by six-bay arcades of Corinthian columns and coffered round arches that run the length of the church. Gothic returns above the arcades in the form of cusped, three-light clerestory windows, but separated by fluted Corinthian pilasters. At the east end, there is the Gothic form of a rose window set in a square, with five cusped lights below it. Nave and aisles have plaster rib-vaults. The ribs, and the arches and capitals, are all painted blue-grey.

St Katharine Cree

The 17th-century font bears the arms of Sir John Gayer.

The reredos is a plain, straight-topped Classical example. The mainly yellow stained glass in the rose window is 17th century; that in the five lights below is of 1878 and commemorates the Flower Sermon that was started here in 1853. The communion table and the cedar-wood pulpit are both 18th century. In the south-east comer, there is the Laud chapel, fitted up by the Society of King Charles the Martyr in 1960. A portrait of Archbishop Laud hangs on the east wall. Above the altar in this chapel there is the monument of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton (died 1571), an Elizabethan worthy. He has a recumbent effigy set amidst Classicizing features. The font is original to the church and bears the arms of Sir John Gayer, Lord Mayor, who founded an annual Lion Sermon here in 1649 after escaping from a lion in the Syrian desert.

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