Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Monday 4th July 2022

Planning the Church

chancelGlossary Term [1] reserved for the use of the priests; the flat recess provided made sure that the communion service was held in full view of the congregation. It was also vital that all could see and listen to the pulpitGlossary Term [2], from which the sermon was preached, and also the desk below it (since removed), from which the congregation was led through the liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer.

CompositeGlossary Term [3] columns, placed so as to make a central square. This square is covered with a groin-vaultGlossary Term [4] from which barrel-vaults run off in the four main directions, leaving lower, flat-ceilinged spaces in the corners. The resulting 'cross-in-square' plan can be traced back to the earliest centuries of church architecture. Wren may have had in mind some recent Dutch examples, or some similarly planned chapels built in the outskirts of London not long before. His design differs from the older chapels in its tall imposing proportions and enriched architectural detail, such as the cofferingGlossary Term [5] around the triple arches to the vestibule side.

galleryGlossary Term [6] to be included above, looking into the church proper. The plan also shows how the architecture disguises the irregular outline at the east, a relic of the medieval site.

London, St Martin Ludgate, Plan

Last updated: Monday, 26th January 2009