Sunday, December 23, 2007

All Saints, Margaret Street, London

This nativity image is from All Saints, Margaret Street, one of the masterpieces of the architect William Butterfield. The church is a typical Butterfield building in polychrome brick, and is full of the sort of beautiful fittings and decorations that provided an appropriate setting for the kind of worship favoured by the Victorian Tractarian movement. The building was finished in 1859, but in the 1870s Butterfield returned to design scenes and figures to be painted on tiles in the North aisle. The stars shine down on a very Victorian tiled stable. The Gothic revival came early to Bethlehem and Our Lord, of course, merits only the best when it comes to quatrefoils, columns, and canopies. Season’s Greetings.

1 comment:

Peter Ashley said...

Decorative painted tiles are such a joy, mainly I think because with their instantly wipe-down surfaces they come up looking as new. Amongst my favourites are the two panels hidden up behind the fascia of W.H.Smiths in Great Malvern, advertising road maps and postcards.