City of London

St. Michael, Cornhill, City of London

One of the more adulterated Wren churches it was built as a simple, classical church around 1669 with a small tower and rather stark interiors. Hawksmoor added the tower between 1718 and 1724 in a very Gothic style which was somewhat at odds with Wren’s work.

This amalgam was then ceased upon by the inveterate church restorer Sir George Gilbert Scott who imposed upon it – perhaps slightly inspired by Hawksmoor’s Gothic addition – a typically Victorian take on what Gothic architecture should be. Although the exterior is largely untouched, inside is a riot of Victoriana with as many surfaces as possible adorned with decoration. In more recent years the trend has been to de-Victorianise the church, but the work was so all pervading that it remains a peculiar mix of Classical, neo-Gothic and Victorian.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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