|St Pancras Parish Churchyard||Camden|
St Pancras Church was built as the new parish church when a larger building was needed than the medieval parish church, now known as St Pancras Old Church. The earliest Greek Revival church in London, its design was influenced by St Martin-in-the-Fields and by the Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens. The tower recalls the Tower of the Winds, and the sets of 4 caryatids are copies from the Erechtheion. The church has landscaping to the boundary railings with Euston Road, and an area of garden south of the church where a sculpture has been installed in memory of victims of 7 July 2005 bombings.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/02/2010
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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.
St Pancras Parish Church, Garden alongside Euston Road, September 2002. Photo: S Williams
Click photo to enlarge.
St Pancras Church was built as the new parish church for St Pancras when a larger building was needed than the existing old parish church, which stands today within St Pancras Gardens (q.v.). The ancient parish was a large one, extending as far as Kenwood (q.v.) until 1868 when it was split into 32 separate parishes. However, by the early C19th the old church 'in the fields' was not considered appropriate for the new inhabitants of the Bedford Estate that was developed south of what is now Euston Road. Initially the St Pancras Vestry opposed the building of a new church due to the cost but in 1816 an Act of Parliament allowed £40,000 to be borrowed for the purpose and a site was purchased in 1818 from the Southampton Estate. Thirty designs were put forward, and that of local architect William Inwood and his son Henry was selected. The foundation stone, which is in the crypt, was laid by Frederick, Duke of York and Albany on 1 July 1819 and the magnificent new church was completed by 1822, consecrated by the Bishop of London on 7 May. It was the most expensive church built in London since St Paul's Cathedral was rebuilt.
Faced in Portland stone with stone coloured terracotta detailing, St Pancras was the earliest Greek Revival church in London, its design influenced by that of St Martin-in-the-Fields (q.v.), and also by the Ionic Temple of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens, the tower recalling the 'Tower of the Winds'. The two sets of four caryatids, copies from the caryatid porch of the Erechtheion, were built to serve as vestries at the entrance to the burial vaults. Made in terracotta around cast-iron columns, they are the work of John Rossi, who worked at Coade's Manufactory.
The crypt was used for burials until St Pancras Cemetery (q.v.) opened in 1854, and during WWI and WWII served as an air-raid shelter. The church was later restored in 1951-3, at which time the original Corinthian finial and cross at the top of the tower was replaced, deemed to be dangerous. The church is bounded by railings, those along Euston Road enclosing an area of grass with some flowers and a number of trees. South of the church is another area of garden largely grass, where a sculpture in onyx by Emily Young has been installed. It depicts the head of Archangel Michael, and has a plaque inscribed: 'In memory of the victims of the 7th July 2005 bombings and all victims of violence. 'I will lift up my eyes unto the hills' Psalm 121'.
Camden Listed Buildings website; on-site history board; history on church website; John Richardson, 'A History of Camden. Hampstead, Holborn, St Pancras' (Historical Publications Ltd, 1999).