Thursday, June 19, 2008

Get Thee to the Church on Time

Jennifer Rummelplease contact Regina Scott at We have a book for you! If we haven’t heard from you by July 1, we’ll sadly have to draw another winner.

London has some of the most amazing architecture on earth. 17th century buildings stand side-by-side with ultra modern wonders like the Great Gherkin. Some of the most beautiful designs can be seen in London’s churches. So, where would a nineteenth century young lady go to church on Sunday mornings with her family?

If you were one of the fashionable, you’d likely attend St. George’s Hanover Square (1725), one of the closet churches to Mayfair, the “in” location for London’s aristocracy. When it was founded, it counted among its parishioners seven dukes, fourteen earls, seven barons, and twenty-six “other persons of title.”

If you wanted to cozy up to King George IV, you could have attended All Souls Langham Place. While Prinny wouldn’t have been in attendance, it was designed by his favorite architect, John Nash. Nash built it as a fitting place to worship for those wealthy elite he planned to live near Regent’s Park.

If you were hopelessly romantic, you might attend St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields. Though a church has been recorded on the grounds as early as 1222, the current building dates from 1726. St. George’s Hanover Square was actually carved from the St. Martin’s parish. My critique partner Kristin swears that there’s no more romantic place on earth for a nineteenth century miss to wed than in St. Martin’s.

Of course, the poet Robert Browning might have argued with her. He married Elizabeth Barrett in St. Marylebone Parish Church in 1846. The interior of the church was also featured in Hogarth’s The Rake’s Progress, a series of satirical paintings from the eighteenth century.

And speaking of marriages, come back next week for a post on brides and weddings. It is June, after all. :-)


Tasha said...

I would love to visit England just to get a feel for all the history it offers. It's definitely one of those places that I must visit one day soon, as visiting it in books is starting to not be enough!!

Regina Scott said...

Tasha, I know exactly what you mean! Visiting early this spring was a dream come true for me. It's amazing!

Hayden said...

Your post brought back so many great memories of my holiday in England nearly ten years ago. *sigh* :) You're so right about the architecture, particularly the churches. I spent most of my time in the countryside, though, checking out the smaller rural churches and their churchyards, and I hope to be able to go back sometime.

Thanks so much for your blog. I've been a quiet reader for about a month or so now, and I really appreciate the informative posts.

Regina Scott said...

Thanks, Hayden! We're so glad you're enjoying the posts, and that we could bring back happy memories. :-)