Monday, February 02, 2009

A Tour of St. James, Spanish Place, London

While in London this past year, I visited St. James, Spanish Place in London with my good friend, Fr. Anthony Symondson, S.J.. Many of you will know St. James from the CIEL UK conferences where it has often had an annual Solemn Mass over the past years, but quite often, one's view of the church is relatively limited to the sanctuary and nave such as this:

While that is beautiful indeed, I thought some of our architecturally inclined readership might enjoy an opportunity to see some of the details and lesser seen aspects of this church.

So with that, here are just a few of those details.

(St. James seen from the back)

(A street view)

(One of the splendid doors)

(One of the side chapels; the metalwork is quite spectacular)

(A side altar reredos depicting some English martyrs)

(A detail of one of the reredos' found on one of the side altars -- which line the side of the nave)

(Another side altar. This one has a spectacular reredos, and it must be said that it's rather a shame that the statue has been placed before it to obscure the central image of the Virgin)

(A sculptural detail from the reredos of, what was, the high altar. The reredos was retained in this church and the tabernacle there with it, while the main altar itself was moved forward)

(The sedilia in the sanctuary)

(To the epistle side of the sanctuary is found this side altar)

(One of the most spectacular altars in the entire church is this altar to the gospel side of the sanctuary, near the main high altar. The stone work is quite exquisite.)

(A closeup of the same altar, to give you a better sense of it)

And since many of us are in the depths of winter and perhaps could use a bit of a mental break, a street view of one of the hotels that is right near to the church to remind us of better times:

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: