St Stephen Westminster
• The church is built in a 14th Century Gothic style, made out of ragstone with the edgings and surrounding details in Caen stone. On the north side, facing the street, is a solid porch with carved decoration to the little roofs above several niches, and little carved heads by a local sculptor, Peter Wright of Vauxhall Bridge Road.
• Apparently he also carved the kneeling stone figure of St Stephen above the porch entrance, and the various other carved heads outside the church.
• The church is only a few minutes walk from the bustle of Victoria Street. St Stephen’s Rochester Row was built for Baroness Burdett-Coutts, a member of the Coutts banking family and philanthropist, in 1847-49.
• The architect was Benjamin Ferrey, a pupil of Pugin and it is an accomplished example of Victorian Neo-Gothic architecture. Ferrey’s design included a tall tower, its steeple reaching almost 200ft high, which was singularly ill fated, being struck by lightning early in its life, and damaged in WW2, and shortened in the 1960s because of safety concerns. It was restored to its original height by the addition of a lightweight extension in 1994.
• Inside the small south chapel, dedicated in 1904, was erected in memory of Angela Tennant, daughter of the first Vicar and God-daughter to Baroness Burdett-Coutts.
• The elaborately decorated scheme of mosaics is in the vaguely pre-Raphaelite style. Other elements of interest include a stained glass window of the Good Shepherd by Morris & Co, designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1890), and an original window of 1850 by Wailes in the south aisle.