Thursday, 11 July 2013

Christ Church, West Wimbledon

Christ Church is a rather homely  and rustic example of Victorian Gothic revival, by the architect Samuel Teulon, a well known builder and restorer of churches.

Like many churches in the area, the need for additional places of worship was stimulated by the arrival of the railway in 1838, and an appeal for  funds for a church at the top of Copse Hill - until 1925 a countrified lane - was launched in 1857. The church was dedicated in 1859, a south transept was added in 1860 and the nave extended westwards in 1881 by Charles Maylard.

The exterior is of Kentish ragstone with Bath stone dressings. The church has an aisled nave of six bays, a south transept, and north and south porches, but the dominant feature is the massive but squat crossing tower with a pyramidal cap and conical stair turret, which gives a rustic, Germanic appearance. Inside, there is a fine hammerbeam roof with arched braces and traceried spandrels. The windows have geometrical and decorated tracery: the east and west windows have five lights and are particularly attractive.

The church is the centre of a busy parish life with an active junior church.

16 Copse Hill, London, Greater London SW20 0HG

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