All Saints', Margaret Street, London

This church, tucked away near Oxford Street, is the very epitome of “High Victorian”. It is considered to be the masterpiece of the architect William Butterfield and was completed in 1859. The style is the apogee of the Gothic Revival style that had been building in British architecture since Strawberry Hill was built by Robert Walpole a hundred years before.

Anyone familiar with the style of St Pancras Station will recognise this architecture – no curlicue left uncurled and no pediment left unadornished. The building has been described as “a savage masterpiece” and “an orgasm” – which is pretty strong language when talking about a church.

Depending on your taste in architecture this is all rather overwrought, or a magnificent gilded confection. The interiors feature a lot of work by the ultimate Victorian church artist, Ninian Comper, which again is something you either like or dislike.

If you’re into Victorian architecture than All Saints is definitely worth a visit, and if nothing else it provides a tiny respite from the chaos of the West End which is all around you.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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