Guarding the dead

Caryatids guarding the dead,  St Pancras New Church,  London,  January 2018

The parish of St Pancras was large, stretching from more or less Oxford Circus to Highgate.  As London grew, the concentration of the parish moved further south and a new church was required by the early nineteenth century.

St Pancras New Church was the result; this Greek revival style establishment, inspired by the Erechtheum and Tower of the Winds of the Acropolis, was consecrated in 1822.  It stands on the Euston Road and no matter how often I walk this route, I have to admire the graceful caryatids that remain immune to the noise and traffic on this main street.  In contrast to the original figures in Athens, each of these holds an extinguished torch or an empty jug, reflecting their position as guardians of the dead in the Crypt.

I have to say that I have a soft spot for St Pancras Old Church too.  As its parish population changed and moved around, the church lost its popularity and fell into disrepair.  It has undergone a few restorations in its time and is now a charming, peaceful building at the back of St Pancras Station.



Copyright Debbie Smyth, 7 January 2018

Posted as part of My Sunday Photo and All Seasons

14 thoughts on “Guarding the dead

  1. You give an interesting side of watching/looking at the statues, unmoved by traffic noise and political situations, etc. of our time:) We all need some anchor of peace in our turbulent times. Thank you for bringing that to the table, so to speak:) Have a great week Debbie – I know it’s after the fact, but I hope there was some relaxation during the December holidays.
    Ready for the new Year?


  2. I rather eschew this church in favour of the much older St Pancras – the Georgian architecture does not lend itself to corner of London’s major roads and it bears a very run down appearance. Very interesting to learn the symbolism of the statuary from you


  3. Wow, a history lesson about London AND photography at the same time. Timely actually, as I took myself off on a photo walk around London the other day and found myself at Temple Church. Anyway, those are certainly some eye catching neo-classical features. #MySundayPhoto


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