The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3Allen, Thomas
St. Mildred the Virgin.
This church is situated on the north side of the Poultry, at the eastern extent of the ward. It is a rectory, and derives its name from its dedication to St. Mildred, a Saxon princess, and its situation. It appears to be of ancient foundation, for John de Asswel was collated to it in the year ; and, in the eighteenth year of Edward III., we find it with the chapel of Corpus Christi, and St. Mary de Coneyhope annexed, which chapel stood at the end of Coneyhope lane, or the Rabbit-market, now called Grocers'-alley: but being suppressed by king Henry VIII. on account of a fraternity founded therein, it was purchased by Thomas Hohson, a haberdasher, who turned the chapel into a warehouse.
The old church, which had been rebuilt in , was burnt down in , after which the present structure was erected. The present edifice is a small building, in part ranging with the houses. The east end abuts on . The north front is in a small burying ground, and the west front is built against. The plan is nearly square.
The southern, which is the principal front, is faced with Portland stone; the elevation is made in height into stories, and, in length into divisions. The basement is pannelled; the principal story formerly contained a palladian window in the central, and arched windows in the side divisions; the whole have
|been walled up, the latter being converted into niches. The entire design is rather ornamental, the spandrils of the larger window are occupied by foliage, and the lateral niches are covered with pediments. The elevation is finished with a cornice and parapet, with the addition of a pediment above the central division. The tower is attached to the western end of the portion of the church already described; it is made in height into stories. The south front of the lower ones is alone visible; on the ground floor is a doorway with a lintelled aperture, covered with a cornice, supported on cantilivers. The story has a window now walled up, covered with an elliptical pediment, the , which is clear of the church, has an oblong square window in each face, the whole being finished with a cornice and parapet. On the platform is a mean turret sustaining a vane in the form of a ship. The east front resembles the already described in its main features, the windows being open. The north side is stuccoed, and contains windows corresponding in number and form with the other fronts, but the whole is in a plainer style. The interior is far behind the outside in point of ornament, and is not only deficient in decoration, but greatly injured by the carelessness of the architect in the arrangement of the parts. A large and handsome Ionic pillar on a lofty plinth, is applied to sustain the unengaged angle of the tower, which is built on architraves, united on the capital of this column, and entering the walls of the church over pilasters. As there is no corresponding tower on the opposite side of the church, requiring the support of another column, no other has been introduced. The pillar, therefore, stands alone, an unsightly object, rendered the more awkward by a corresponding architrave being formed in the ceiling of the opposite angle of the church, in consequence of which, the present appearance seems to indicate, that a column has been removed, leaving its architrave suspended over the heads of the congregation; it is strange that the parish should be so blind to this glaring defect, as to allow it to continue, when a corresponding column might so happily be erected, which would not only have the effect of completing the uniformity of the design, but would make a recess for the organ, which now stands by itself, almost as awkwardly as the solitary column. The portion of the ceiling, eastward, is horizontal, coved at the sides, the latter portion having an architrave of fasciae for its impost, and which is broken by the larger windows: the whole is entirely destitute of decoration: the altar screen of oak has attached Corinthian columns, sustaining an entablature and broken elliptical pediment, in which is an attic pannel fronted with the arms of king Charles II.; it is painted in imitation of various marbles, but in a dull style; a sprinkling of carving in fruit and foliage forms its decorations. The west end is crossed with a gallery containing an organ.|
The pulpit and desks are grouped against the north wall; on the front of the latter is carved a ship in relief.
The font situated beneath the gallery is a plain poligonal basin of white marble sustained on a pedestal in the form of a balluster.
The only monument worthy of observation is to the memory of Ann Simpson, aged , ; Ann,.her daughter, aged , , and has a bust by Nollekins.
The architect of the present church was sir Christopher Wren, and it was erected in at the expense of The dimensions are, length , breadth , height feet; height of tower, feet.