Saturday, 18 July 2015

I have been to ... St George's Chapel, Woolwich

At the end of June Sue and I paid a visit to the 'Armed Forces Day' that was held at Woolwich Barracks. Whilst we were there we were able to cross the road (John Wilson Street/The South Circular) to pay a visit to the remains of St George's Chapel.

St George's Chapel, the Woolwich Garrison Church.
St George's was built to serve as the Woolwich Garrison Church, and was constructed in 1863. It was Romanesque in style and had Byzantine detailing. On 13th/14th July 1944 the building was largely destroyed by a V1 flying bomb, but the ruins have been preserved as a memorial and it has been used for occasional outdoor services.

In October 2011 funds were provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund to conserve what remained of the building and to make the space within available as a memorial garden. As the following photographs show, this work has not begun. A canopy roof has been constructed over the altar and VC monument and work is being done to preserve the wall mosaics.

The present-day entrance to the chapel

The altar
Part of the new canopy roof is just visible at the top of the photograph.

The mosaic of St George
This mosaic is on the wall just behind the altar.

The Victoria Cross Monument
The Royal Artillery Victoria Cross Monument consists of two plaques, one on each side of the mosaic of St George. The names of each of the members of the Royal Artillery who were awarded a Victoria Cross are listed on the plaques.

A memorial plaque
The chapel contains a number of memorial plaques, some of which are quite new.

Examples of the mosaics used to decorate the chapel
Many of the mosaics have been removed for repair and restoration. These are examples of some of the mosaics that are still in situ.

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