The Ecclesiastical Landscape

St.  Paul's Cathedral, from Fleet Street
Gustave Doré, London, a Pilgrimage, 1872.  Special Collections, CU Boulder Libraries

The City of London

The ecclesiastical landscape of Stainforth's London included St. Paul's Cathedral, rebuilt following the devastation of the Great Fire (1665) in the early eighteenth century by Sir Christopher Wren.

Just two years after Stainforth's death in 1867, the journalist Blanchard Jerrold (1826–1884) partnered with illustrator and artists Gustave Doré (1832–1883) to capture the ‘shadows and sunlight’ of the city of London, here the cathedral itself.[1]  Gustave Doré's London featured 180 wood engravings to be published in London: a Pilgrimage (1872), written by Blanchard Jerrold.

Doré's view of St. Paul's highlights the city as a teeming mass of Londoners navigating the crowded streets - here Fleet Street, a center of English printing and publishing - set against an evolving backdrop of church, state, and commerce.

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Candlewick Ward and Langborn Ward, Benjamin Cole, 1755.  Crace Collection, British Library Board

A Closer Look: Mapping London Wards

The mapping of the ecclesiastical landscape as part of the broader city fabric has a long history.  The Elizabethan classic, A Survey of London, written by John Stow (c. 1525-1605) was first published in 1598.[2]  His Survey, a 'perambulation of the streets of London,' provided a detailed account of the city's architecture. 

By the eighteenth century, London had been transformed.  Massive growth, the Great Fire of London (1666), and the rebuilding of the city's churches by architects Sir Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor, and others necessitated new views of London.  Successors to Stow include John Strype (1643-1737) and William Maitland (c. 1693-1757).  Strype's annotated edition of Stow's Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster and Maitland's History of London from its Foundation to the Present Day (largely derived from Strype with illustrations from West & Tow's 1736 'Prospect Views of Ancient Churches') depict a medieval and early modern ecclesiastical landscape set amid the wards, streets, monuments, and government buildings that made up Georgian London.[3]  The wards, which originated in Anglo-Saxon England, were designed to maintain smaller, self-governing units within walls of the larger city. 

The maps of Langborn & Candlewick Wards, Aldgate Ward, and Tower Wards, published in William Maitland's History of London, show the parishes and architecture that surrounded All Hallows Staining; most survived into Stainforth's nineteenth-century London.

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Candlewick Ward and Langborn Ward, detail. Benjamin Cole, 1755.  Crace Collection, British Library Board

The map of Langborn and Candlewick wards, pictured above, feature engravings of church fabric in post-Great Fire transition.[4]  All Hallows Lombard Street, situated on the corner of Lombard and Grace Church streets, was designed and re-constructed post-fire by the office of Sir Christopher Wren in 1694; the church was demolished in 1934.  St. Mary Eastcheap, located very near Pudding Lane where the Great Fire broke out, sustained major damage. The interior was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren, with subsequent eighteenth-and nineteenth-century work. Nearby St. Marys Woolnorth, Lombard Street, commissioned by Nicholas Hawksmoor and completed 1727, was situated nearby. The map mistakenly identifies an engraved parish church as All Hallows Staining, rather than the nearby parish church of St. Olave Hart Street.  Mark Lane is seen in the far right of this map with a small pictorial view of All Hallows Staining (see detail).

Mapping the City in the Mid-Nineteeth Century

The Plan of London from Actual Survey of 1851 maps the acceleration of change to the landscape of Victorian London.[8] The city's prominent ecclesiastical buildings such as Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral are pictured along the border together with with the more recently constructed London landmarks, such as the Crystal Palace, the site of the Great Exhibition of 1851 promoted by Prince Albert.  New rail lines, such as that leading into Fenchurch Street Station just to the east of All Hallows Staining and, of course, access to the Thames are also picture.

Plan of London from Actual Survey
Plan of London from Actual Survey, 1851.  Crace Collection, British Library Board

St. Paul's Cathedral (see detail, plan) was designed by Sir Christopher Wren with some fifty London churches in the wake of the Great Fire.  It replaced the Old St. Paul's, begun by the Normans in the eleventh century, with renovations taking place as late as the early seventeenth century, including the cathedral's new façade designed by the renowned architect Inigo Jones.  St. Paul's was less than a mile to the west, a mere 18-minute walk for Francis Stainforth from the small parish church of All Hallows Staining. 

Plan of London from Actual Survey
Plan of London from Actual Survey, detail, 1851.  Crace Collection, British Library Board