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St Mark's Churchyard Camden

Summary

St Mark's Church was consecrated in 1853, although plans to establish a new district within St Pancras Parish were discussed from 1848 and initially a temporary church was provided. The chancel was added in 1889-90, designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield. In 1928 the new vicar was Hugh Stuckey, who was instrumental in reviving the church through difficult times, opening the garden in 1930 to visitors to London Zoo for tea parties on Summer Bank Holiday Mondays, which led to the church's nickname The Zoo Church. Rebuilt after bomb damage, the church retains its original stone wall and gateway. The garden has grass, flower beds and a number of mature trees, with numerous shrubs where the ground slopes down towards the Regent's Canal.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
St Mark's Regent's Park

Site location:
St Mark's Square/Prince Albert Road

Postcode:
NW1 7TN ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Churchyard

Date(s):
1851-52

Designer(s):

Listed structures:
LBII: St Mark's Church

Borough:
Camden

Site ownership:
Church, Diocese of London

Site management:
Church

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
unrestricted to garden. Church open on Fridays in autumn months (call to check)

Special conditions:

Facilities:

Events:

Public transport:
Tube: Chalk Farm (Northern). London Overground: Camden Road. Bus: 274.

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/03/2010
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.stmarksregentspark.org.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ282837

Size in hectares:

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
No

In Conservation Area:
No

Tree Preservation Order:
Not known

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:

Other LA designation:
None

St Mark's Churchyard

St Mark's Church Garden, August 2002. Photo: S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

Fuller information

St Mark's Church was consecrated in 1853, although plans to establish a new district within the parish of St Pancras had been mooted from 1848. This was at the instigation of the vicar of St Pancras, Dr Thomas Dale, and others who raised awareness of the need to serve outlying areas of the parish where the population was expanding rapidly. Initially a temporary church was provided near the site for the new church, licensed on 16 March 1848 by Dr Blomfield, Bishop of London. The Kentish ragstone church was built in 1851-2 by Thomas Little, a local architect who also provided the ground. The chancel was added to the building in c.1889-90, designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, son of the Bishop of London.

In 1928 the new vicar was Hugh Stuckey, who was instrumental in reviving the church through difficult times. In 1930 he devised the idea of opening the church garden to visitors to London Zoo for tea parties on Summer Bank Holiday Mondays, which led to the church's nickname, 'The Zoo Church'. This initiative had an added benefit of bringing in much needed revenue, and the events were a great success with visitors, who had the opportunity to look round the church and attend an evening organ recital.

In 1938 Sir Ninian Comper created a fine altar-piece for the church. The building was gutted in 1940 as a result of an incendiary bomb on 21 September followed soon afterwards by another bomb. It was not reconstructed until 1957, the new church designed by Arthur Knapp-Fisher. A new High Altar reredos by Sir Ninian Comper was completed by 1959.

Adjacent to Regent's Canal (q.v.) the churchyard garden slopes down towards the canal, overgrown with numerous shrubs. The church has its original stone wall to St Mark's Square and Prince Albert Road, with a stone gateway onto Prince Albert Road. This area of the churchyard is laid out with grass and flower beds and has a number of mature trees.

Near the church is the fine ornamental St Mark's Bridge leading to Regent's Park (q.v.) over the Grand Union Canal that was built in c.1864 replacing an earlier suspension bridge.

Sources consulted:

Camden Listed Buildings website; St Mark's website History section: www.stmarksregentspark.org.uk

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