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Notes on the Geography of The United Kingdom: London 5: Churches: Photo 11

world pictures The United Kingdom: London 5: Churches

A bit less than a mile to the west, this is St. Mary's Church, also from 1824. This is a so-called Commissioner's Church, funded in part by a grant from Parliament in 1818. The church-building act of that year provided a million pounds for assistance in the construction of 100 churches scattered across a country that was rapidly urbanizing and at risk of a political upheaval that might be countered by a dose of theological tonic. (An additional half-million pounds was added a few years later and was scattered among 500 more.) The design in this case was by Robert Smirke, best known for the facade of the British Museum. The Commission was dissolved in 1857; by then Smirke had designed two other London churches with its help.

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