TQ0346 : St Martin's Church, Blackheath

taken 9 years ago, near to Greyfriars, Surrey, England

St Martin's Church, Blackheath
St Martin's Church, Blackheath
I knew nothing of this church until I happened upon it on this October afternoon. The round-headed arch with its halo of terracotta tiles (used edge-on) reminded me quite powerfully of the church at Pixham, near Dorking: Link

The Pixham church is by Lutyens, and dated 1903. The entry for Blackheath in the Surrey Pevsner (Nairn and Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England: Surrey') gives the architect's name as C Harrison Townsend, and the date as 1895. So Blackheath church pre-dates the one at Pixham by eight years.

Blackheath is no more than a few miles from the heart of Lutyens' territory, around Munstead. I don't think there can be any doubt that he saw the Blackheath church taking shape - at a time when he was just finding his feet as an architect. Terracotta tiles, used edge-on, were to become a significant element in Lutyens' repertoire. Link Link Link I may be wrong, but I think it unlikely that Lutyens used tiles in this way before 1895 - in other words, perhaps he cribbed the idea from Townsend . . .

Townsend went on to make a name for himself as the designer of the Whitechapel Gallery (1897-99) and the Horniman Museum (1902). The interior of the church he built at Great Warley in Essex is described by Pevsner as 'an orgy of the English Arts-and-Crafts variety of the International Art Nouveau'.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Stefan Czapski and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
This photo is linked from: Automatic Clusters: · Church [12] · St Martin's Church [5] · Near Blackheath [4] Other Photos: · St Mary's Church, Pixham · Church at Lower Kingswood Title Clusters: · St Martin's Church, Blackheath [3] ·
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TQ0346, 211 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Stefan Czapski   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Sunday, 19 October, 2014   (more nearby)
Monday, 20 October, 2014
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 0310 4620 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:12.3429N 0:31.5334W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 0307 4620
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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