Monuments in St Giles in the Fields Church, Bloomsbury, London

St Giles in the Fields, built to the designs of the architect Henry Flitcroft in 1731-33, is a large church in Bloomsbury, London, a few paces from the top end of Charing Cross Road, but easily missed by those who are not looking for it, even if familiar with the Oxford Street area. St Giles has a noble exterior, and an excellent interior, with high arched ceiling, repaired after bomb damage, and with its pillared aisles, lines of pews and other furniture, and chequered floor, has a fine ambience compared to more empty churches.

St Giles in the Fields Church.

There is a large crop of monuments in the Church, about 65 in all, including a full length effigy, several panels with figural sculpture, and a splendid lunette panel of The Last Judgement, as part of a collection of older things happily preserved from the previous church on the site. In addition, the number of monuments is large enough that we have lots of examples from the 1790s through to the 1840s, with in addition a number from the 17th and earlier 18th Centuries, and a few later 19th C, as well as modern plaques not noted here. Several of the more minor monuments have signatures of the mason sculptors who produced them. We start with the 17th Century and 18th Century, then the 19th Century monuments but covering the more sculptural ones before the rest, and finally those upstairs, at least those I could discern standing below.

17th Century monuments:

I saw half a dozen, including that to Andrew Marvell which was put up later but seemingly takes the wording from the previous monument, There is a grand effigy, the others not being particularly sculptural, but interesting by virtue of their age and inscriptions, not that this art-centred website should be quoting them:

18th Century:

19th Century: monuments with sculptural interest

Arts and Crafts monument to Wiliam Gazzard, d.1900.

19th Century: Plain monuments

There are a number of relatively plain monuments from the 19th Century in the Church, of no sculptural interest, but noticeable as being a reasonable cross section of the usual designs and shapes popular in the early 19th Century, and introducing the work of several mason-statuaries who worked in London at the time, above all C. King of Chenies Street, who has several works in the Church.

Upstairs:

We should also the modern plaque of 10 May 1996 to Cecilius Calvert, Second Lord Baltimore, 1606-1675, stating that he was first proprietor of Maryland in America, buried in the church 1675. The Colony was established 25th Mar 1634 by colonists led by Leonard Calvert, brother of Lord Baltimore. There does not seem to have been a monument erected at the time, at least none noted by Strype, the antiquarian who updated John Stow’s Survey of London in 1720.

Modern plaque to Lord Baltimore, proprietor or Maryland, USA.

Also in St Giles:

Aside from monuments, we note the following:

With many thanks to the St Giles Church authorities for kind permission to show pictures of the monuments inside; their website is http://www.stgilesonline.org/history">.

Flaxman's tomb, inside St Giles's churchyard.

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Charing Cross Road nearby

Monuments in some London Churches // Churches in the City of London // Introduction to church monuments

Angel statues // Cherub sculpture

London sculpture // Sculptors

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