St Andrew Holborn

Teulon and the Holborn Viaduct

n the middle of the 19th Century, the Holborn Valley Improvement Scheme bought the North Churchyard from St Andrew’s to make way for the Holborn Viaduct, which was to link Holborn with Newgate without the dangers of descending into the Fleet Valley. The viaduct was opened in 1869 with the statue of Albert, the Prince Consort being unveiled in 1874. Although Queen Victoria opened the viaduct, she did not attend the unveiling of the statue because it was too painful for her.

Because of the loss of land, the remains of those interred in the North and South Courtyards were removed and re-interred in the City of London Cemetery in Ilford. The Victorian monument was restored at the beginning of this century when the bodies of those who had been laid to rest in the Crypt were also moved to the cemetery.

The St Andrew Holborn memorial in the City of London Cemetery in Ilford

One unexpected side effect was that though St Andrew’s had been on a hill, it now found itself below the level of the road.

St Andrew’s engaged the Victorian Gothic architect Samuel Teulon to build a new vicarage and Court House on the South side of St Andrews. Into the Court Room, the feature room of the building, Teulon incorporated a 17th Century fireplace from one of the two previous Questhouses; it still stands impressively in the room today.

Teulon’s building now operates as the offices for the Foundation, the associated Charities, as well as the Vicarage and the Conference Rooms. Teulon also substantially remodelled the interior of the church, as can be seen in the picture below. His ‘improvements’ did not cohere well with the purity of Wren’s designs. However, his alterations were destroyed when the church was bombed in 1941. Subsequent restoration has been closer to Wren’s intentions.