St. Peter's Church, Vauxhall






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        The Photos
        F E B R U A R Y  0 9


        Looking up at the front of St. Peter's Church, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall
        St. Peter's Church, Vauxhall
        Looking up from Kennington Lane




        T h e  C h u r c h  o f  S t .  P e t e r  :  N o t e s

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        The objective of these pages is to photograph in detail half-forgotten little pieces of beauty that you find around London; Victorian buildings (and earlier) that deserve more than just a fleeting glance and often stand alone as beacons of beauty, relics of substance, in modern concrete jungles. Statements to what we can build rather than what we need to build.

        What the Victorians did for us they did because they are not us.

        A brief history of this church is thus:

          St. Peter's Church, at the corner of St. Oswald's Place and Kennington Lane, was designed by John Loughborough Pearson, and was one of the earliest of his many churches. It was consecrated in 1864.

          Built in 1860 along with an art school, soup kitchen, clothes workshop and orphanage. The site was built specifically to serve the needs of a community suffering from extreme poverty and the art school provided the people of Lambeth with employment as Draughtsmen, Designers and Artists for local firms.

          In recent years, through Vauxhall St. Peterís Heritage Centre, the tradition of art and community has continued with festivals, exhibitions, concerts and community activities in the church.

          The exterior is built in stock brick ... boldly buttressed at the gabled street front.

          List of Vicars. G. W. Herbert (perpetual curate 1864, vicar 1870); 1896, A. B. Sharpe; 1899, E. Denny; 1910, A.W. Tudball; 1926, Percy W. Seymour

        Sources: 'Vauxhall Gardens and Kennington Lane', Survey of London: volume 23: Lambeth: South Bank and Vauxhall (1951), pp. 146-147; St. Peter's Vauxhall (St. Peter's community webpage) & www.crossoverlambeth.org (church website)

        I came to know of it for two reasons.

        The first reason is macabre and from the 2nd World War. St. Peter's stands at 310 Kennington Lane. At 302 Kennington Lane, in 1941 and during the Blitz, a certain Harry Dobkin murdered his wife and buried her under the ruin of Vauxhall Baptist Chapel, hoping she would be discovered as an air raid victim. Her body wasn't found for over a year but it became clear that the woman had been strangled and from dental records she was identified as Rachel Dobkin. Harry Dobkin was arrested and hanged for the murder.

        At the time, this case raised the issue of how many people had been murdered during the war and had been successfully buried in the rubble of bombed out buildings.

        In 2009, the ITV programme, Nightwatch, reconstructed the murder and used St. Oswald's Place as part of their reconstruction.

        Secondly, because it was the setting for the Echoes from the Cross concerts of the late 1980s/early 90s which were organised by the painter/illustrator Russell Mills (venue capacity: 300). At the time the celebrated and hugely influential Mills was a local resident and organised the concerts so that profits would go towards the upkeep of the Grade 2-listed Church. When he moved away from the area in the early 90s the concerts stopped but in its short history Echoes from the Cross would never be forgotten by those fortunate enough to attend.

        If I remember correctly the year I attended was 1989. Among others, Roger Eno played but it was the almost 'holy' sound of Michael Brook's guitar that stayed with me. As it echoed around the church like the never ending clanging of the sword of a holy warrior it made the hairs on the back of your head stand on end.

        Someone somewhere must have a visual documentary of the night as I did see the Godfather of ambient music, Brian Eno no less, filming the show, I think, for Land Records. Oh and in the audience of the small church I spotted David Sylvian! My friend and I tried not to look like two geeks by staring like village idiots at all our heroes and desperately tried to appear composed, as it was just an everyday occurence for us to be in the midst of musical geniuses, but we ended up staring like village idiots nonetheless. Eyeballs springing out of sockets and all that.

        Thinking about it if heaven forbid a bomb had hit the church and wiped out the congregation that Friday night ambient music would have lost all its stars. Lordy, we would now be thinking of Jean-Michel Jarre as quite the visionary and Mike Oldfield as quite good. Hell. Nick Rhodes might now just be releasing Planet Earth - Ambient Movement No.25 (Look All Around Again Remix) and we might be looking forward to it!

        Doesn't bear thinking about.

        Of course I shouldn't worry about it because if it had happened I'd be dead as well, but I digress.

        In other years stars like John Foxx played.

        Organising such exquisite shows was and is typical of Mills. All his work is just jaw-droppingly beautiful (he's also a respected musician and released albums in his own right which have featured people like The Edge and Peter Gabriel no less). Round this time he was designing what would arguably become the most celebrated but certainly the most influential cd boxset ever, David Sylvian's Weatherbox. A few years later he was designings cover sleeves for Nine Inch Nails no less. But that is just the tip of a considerable iceburg of work - check out his images of treasure at his wonderful website by clicking here.

        Original Russell Mills artwork for sale can be found here.

        Hover over each thumbnail image for details on picture and click on each to open a bigger picture.

        These photos are available as signed prints. Please e-mail for details. Same photos shown in various stages of manipulation.

        I'd be grateful if the photos are not used without prior permission. Please e-mail any request for usage or to obtain any photo without the copyright wording.

        - Paul Page (2009)


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        St. Peter's Church
        M A N I P U L A T E D


        Looking up at the front of St. Peter's Church, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall Door, St. Peter's Church, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church & buildings behind, St. Oswald's Place, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church from St. Oswald's Place, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church from St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church from St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall Complex of converted flats and offices behind St. Peter's Church, St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall

        Entrance to converted flats behind St. Peter's Church, St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church from St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 Windows, St. Peter's Church from St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 Houses behind St. Peter's Church, St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 32 St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 School of Art, 34 St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 House behind St. Peter's Church, 30 St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009

        St. Oswalds Place towards Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Building next to St. Peter's Church, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009

        St. Peter's Church from Tyers Street, Vauxhall - February 2009 Vauxhall St. Peter's Heritage Centre from Tyers Street, Vauxhall - February 2009 Vauxhall St. Peter's Heritage Centre from Tyers Street, Vauxhall - February 2009 Looking up at the front of St. Peter's Church, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall Door, St. Peter's Church, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church & buildings behind, St. Oswald's Place, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church from St. Oswald's Place, Vauxhall

        St. Peter's Church from St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church from St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall Complex of converted flats and offices behind St. Peter's Church, St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall Entrance to converted flats behind St. Peter's Church, St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church from St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 Windows, St. Peter's Church from St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 Houses behind St. Peter's Church, St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009

        32 St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 School of Art, 34 St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 House behind St. Peter's Church, 30 St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 St. Oswalds Place towards Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009

        Building next to St. Peter's Church, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 St. Peter's Church from Tyers Street, Vauxhall - February 2009 Vauxhall St. Peter's Heritage Centre from Tyers Street, Vauxhall - February 2009 Vauxhall St. Peter's Heritage Centre from Tyers Street, Vauxhall - February 2009


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        St. Peter's Church
        U N T O U C H E D


        Looking up at the front of St. Peter's Church, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall Door, St. Peter's Church, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church & buildings behind, St. Oswald's Place, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church from St. Oswald's Place, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church from St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church from St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall Complex of converted flats and offices behind St. Peter's Church, St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall

        Entrance to converted flats behind St. Peter's Church, St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall St. Peter's Church from St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 Windows, St. Peter's Church from St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 Houses behind St. Peter's Church, St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 32 St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 School of Art, 34 St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009 House behind St. Peter's Church, 30 St. Oswalds Place, Vauxhall - February 2009

        St. Oswalds Place towards Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Building next to St. Peter's Church, Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009 Front of St. Peter's Church from Kennington Lane, Vauxhall - February 2009

        St. Peter's Church from Tyers Street, Vauxhall - February 2009 Vauxhall St. Peter's Heritage Centre from Tyers Street, Vauxhall - February 2009 Vauxhall St. Peter's Heritage Centre from Tyers Street, Vauxhall - February 2009


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        Recommended Reading/Viewing
        A R T W O R K  /  B O O K S


        picture enlarge


      • Russell Mills - Ember Glance Drawings



      • The London Underworld in the Victorian Period: v. 1: Authentic First-person Accounts by Beggars, Thieves and Prostitutes
      • Advertise Here

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