The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 3Allen, Thomas
St. Catherine Coleman Church.
On the south side of , in , formerly called Magpye-alley, stands the parish church of St. Catherine Coleman, which is so denominated from its dedication to St. Catherine, an Egyptian virgin. It received the addition of Coleman, from a great yard or garden, called, at that time, Coleman-haw, in the parish of the Trinity, afterwards . It is a rectory of ancient foundation, as appears by John de Hertford being rector in the year . The old church was substantially repaired, and a south aisle added, in , by sir William White, lord mayor of London. It escaped the fire of London, in ; but, being much buried by the raising of the street, in , it was pulled down, and the present church was erected at the expense of the parish, under the sanction of an act of parliament, Geo. II. whereby, and by another act passed for the same purpose, the parishioners were enabled to raise money, by annuities, at the rate of per cent per annum, and to rate the inhabitants, to pay the said annuities.
This church was originally in the patronage of the dean of , London, and so continued till that religious house, with its appurtenances, was annexed to the abbey of ; after which it fell to the crown, and the advowson was given, by queen Mary, on the , in the year of her reign, to the bishop of London, and his successors in that see, for ever.
This church is the plainest edifice of this description, perhaps in London; the exterior is entirely concealed from the high street, and has a very humble and unassuming character. At the west end, which is seen from , is a low tower of brick in stories, and behind this the church finishes pedimentally. The west front of the tower has an entrance, with a rusticated frontispiece of stone in the basement, and also a circular window; in the next story is another window, with an arched head, enclosed in a rusticated architrave of stone. similar windows: occupy the north and south sides of the same story; the whole is finished with a parapet. To the basement story of the tower are attached rooms, with rusticated entrances. The north side of the church has windows with arched heads, resembling the windows of the tower, and an entrance near the west end. The elevation finishes with a parapet, which, in the centre, rises to a small pediment; the east end and north side are concealed from view: the whole, except the particulars before mentioned, is built of brick. The interior is equally plain; it is built without pillars, and roofed in span. The ceiling being coved at the sides, the central portion is enriched with bands, forming a large circle, inscribed in a square. The
|mouth side is lighted by circular widows. The eastern wall has a large arch in the centre, surmounting a recess, in which is the altar-piece, formed in compartments, by Ionic columns supporting their entablature, and a pediment above the centre division; the head of the arch is occupied by a choir of cherubim. The whole of the architectural members are painted in imitation of marble. The pulpit is a heavy piece of workmanship, and with the reading and clerk's desks, is situated on the south side of the centre aisle; a gallery, at the west end of the church, contains an organ. There are several monuments in the church, and the vestibule; but they are not remarkable either for their age or workmanship.|