The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3Allen, Thomas
St. James, Garlick hithe.
This church is so called from its dedication to the above saint, and its vicinity to a garlic market, which was anciently held in the neighbourhood, and called Garlick hithe, from being a wharf on the bank of the river. It is a vestry, the patronage of which appears to have been in the abbot and convent of , till the suppression of the monastery, when coming to the crown, queen Mary, in the year , granted the same to the bishop of London and his successors, in whom it still remains. The earliest mention of this church is, that it was rebuilt by Richard de Rathing, sheriff in .
The plan is an oblong square, with a square tower at the west end, and a chancel to correspond at the east; the area is divided into a nave and aisles, by ranges of columns, the central intercoluminiation being wider than the rest. The tower is attached to the west front, but does not occupy the entire breadth of it ; the elevation is divided by string courses into stories, and it is increased in height by a pyramidal addition of masonry, also made into stones. The western front of the tower has an arched doorway between Corinthian columns, coupled with pilasters, and sustaining a pediment; in the tympanum is an escallop, the emblem of the patron saint; the flanks are without openings; the story has a low arched window in the same front, below which projects a beam sustaining the clock dial, which is surmounted by a statue of the saint, in his habit as a pilgrim; the flanks have no windows. The story has an arched window, filled with weather boarding in every aspect, and the upright is finished with a parapet pierced with trellis work, and having an urn at every angle. The story of the superstructure is octagonal; of the faces corresponding with the sides of the main tower are pierced with windows, filled with weather boarding; the remaining sides are fronted with coupled Ionic columns supporting their entablature, surmounted by vases; the story is square, with buttresses at the angles, also finished with vases, and the story is a lofty pedestal of the same form, surmounted by a vane.
On the western front of the church are circular headed
| windows, on each side of the tower, below the northern, a doorway. The upper portion of the elevation is cruciform; this arrangement is caused by a continuation in height of a portion of the walls in the centre of the design, forming a small transept at each side of the church. In the north wall are arched windows, the centre higher and larger than the rest; this window was walled up to the springing of the arch, in ; below it was a lintelled entrance, surmounted by a cherub's head, and a cornice, also long since walled up; a clerestory rises above the aisle, except where it is broken by the transept, it contains segment arched windows; the only window in the south wall is that in the transept, which is now walled up, to correspond with the opposite side. In the eastern end of the church are windows on each side of the chancel, also walled up in , to the springings of the arches. The walls of the aisles are finished with parapets, the clerestory, transepts, and chancel with a cantilever cornice. The chancel has a window in the north-east and south aspects, the eastern being entirely walled up. The interior is approached by a vestibule formed in the basement story of the tower, and covered with a domed ceiling. On each side of the nave are columns of the Ionic order, raised on lofty octangular plinths, portioning off a narrow aisle, including in breadth of the windows in the extreme walls; the columns sustain architrave cornices, which are received on half columns at their entrance into the walls; the angles of the chancel are finished with pilasters, crowned with the continued cornice, and against the western wall are other pilasters to correspond. The shafts of the columns are painted to imitate Sienna marble, with white capitals and bases, and the plinths verd antique. The transepts internally are marked by the greater breadth of the central intercolumniation, mid by the architrave cornice being broken and returned to the side walls. The ceiling of the church is coved, and springs from the main cornice; it is pierced with arches above the clerestory windows, transepts, and chancel, the centre forming a large horizontal pannel subdivided into smaller ones; the soffit of the ceilings of the chancel and transepts are plain; the aisles are pannelled, by architraves ranging from the main columns to the side walls. The altar screen occupies the dado of the former eastern window, it is composed of columns of the Corinthian order and pilasters, in the intercolumniations the usual inscriptions, besides some handsome carving in relief. Above the screen, a large painting of |
by John Burnet, esq. and surmounted by a curtain, fills the whole of the space formerly occupied by the window. The pulpit is situated southward of the chancel; it is hexagonal in form, and sustained on a group of cartouches issuing from a column; the sounding-board is of the same form, and apparently more modern than the rest: it is sustained on columns, the shafts marked like the stem of a palm tree, the capitals Corinthian; the front of the pulpit facing the
|body of the church, has the following shield of arms in relief, executed like the rest of the pulpit in oak, viz.... bars ... on a canton .. . lions passant... crest on a wreath, a demi lion rampant .... The reading and clerk's desks are more modern, and are situated on the opposite side of the body of the church. The font is placed against the plinth from the west, in the north aisle; it is a handsome octangular basin of statuary marble sustained on a pillar of the same; the cover is plain; a gallery crosses the west of the church; it is sustained on square pilasters of iron with Corinthian capitals, the shafts in open work; in this gallery is a large organ in a handsome carved case; the door-cases of the principal entrance and others at the east end leading to the church-yard and the vestry, are enriched with Corinthian pillars. The escallop shell, the insignia of the patron saint, is often repeated in the decorations of the interior. The portion of the transept windows not walled up, is filled with painted glass, representing choirs of cherubs with the lamb on side, and the dove on the other.|
The present church was built by sir Christopher Wren in . The expense was The building is feet long, broad, high, and the steeple is feet high.