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Revised first enlargement scheme, 1711


[7] Revised first enlargement scheme, 1711

Signed and dated

  • 1711
    Main Year


The earliest drawings for Hawksmoor's revisions to the first enlargement scheme are datable c.1700 [7/2] and [7/3]. Hawksmoor appears to have returned to this scheme around the time the Act for Building Fifty New Churches in London was passed on 6 April 1711. A Commission for building fifty new churches had been established in the early months of 1711, in response to the partial destruction of St Alfege Greenwich in a storm in November 1710. On 5 April 1711 the Directors of the Hospital had ordered that the House of Commons be petitioned 'that among the provisions for building Churches they will give an allowance for building a Church for the Hospitall, and for further advancement of other buildings of the House begun, and now lying unfinished' (Wren Society, VI, p. 64).

The prospect of several thousand pounds for a new church appears to have been sufficient to encourage Hawksmoor to revive his first enlargement scheme of 1698-99. In that scheme, the church was to be in the park, on the main axis of the hospital, at the south end of a central esplanade. In [7/1], he proposes a new church in front of the Queen's House. The presence of a church in this position is indicated by the inscription Chappell Court on a sketch plan for the east infirmary range,[7/4]. The only evidence we have for the position of the church is on Hawksmoor's much later master-plan drawing for The Royall Hospitall at Greenwich 1728 N.H. (RIBA Catalogue, Hawksmoor [1]/2; SA 70/4; former E5/9; see Hart 2002, fig. 302). Beneath a pasted overlay bearing the plan of a square domed chapel is a long rectangular chapel set west to east, with porticoes at both ends and four piers surrounded by columns along the sides.

The eight-bay columnar church in [7/1] appears to be an early version of this rectangular church design. It has a west-facing entrance (towards Greenwich town), and a north-facing pedimented portico (towards the hospital). The infirmary ranges are drawn in detail on two plans, [7/4] and [7/6]. These plans are developed versions of the infirmary ranges in the long west elevation, [7/2], and the east elevation of the west infirmary range, [7/3], both of which are datable c.1700. Another sketch study explores the design of the turret-like pavilions on the outer elevations of the base wings and the infirmary ranges [7/5].



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Contents of [7] Revised first enlargement scheme, 1711