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Church of St Luke

A Grade II Listed Building in Greenwich, London

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Latitude: 51.4606 / 51°27'38"N

Longitude: 0.0585 / 0°3'30"E

OS Eastings: 543100

OS Northings: 175526

OS Grid: TQ431755

Mapcode National: GBR NL.MDS

Mapcode Global: VHHNQ.YKS4

Entry Name: Church of St Luke

Listing Date: 8 June 1973

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1289604

English Heritage Legacy ID: 396773

Location: Greenwich, London, SE9

County: London

District: Greenwich

Electoral Ward/Division: Eltham North

Built-Up Area: Greenwich

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Eltham Park St Luke

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

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Listing Text


1906-7 by Temple Moore, S aisle and chapel 1933 by J B L Tolhurst of Beckenham.

MATERIALS: Red brick with stone dressings. Red tiled roofs (except flat S aisle roof). The interior has a stone-coloured render and bare stone dressings.

PLAN: Nave, aisles, chancel, N aisle extension as organ chamber, S as Lady Chapel, porches flanking the W end.

EXTERIOR: There is a steep nave gable to the road with a continuous roof over the N aisle. The W window has four lights with flowing tracery. There is a small N porch. The E end wall has a pair of three-light windows. There are stepped buttresses between the bays. The N aisle has four bays with groups of three cusped lights under segmental arches.

INTERIOR: The delicate tracery of the windows is in strong contrast to the stark geometry of the bare arches. There are two broad arches to the N arcade, rising almost to the top of the wall, and three to the S. They have square and rectangular piers with chamfers on the corners and minimal abaci between the piers and the springing of the arches. There is no clerestory or chancel arch. There are two transverse arches spanning the north aisle. Over nave and chancel there is a wooden wagon roof.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: Choir stalls and associated woodwork by Moore using simple, chaste forms very much in the Arts and Crafts tradition. Wooden traceried screen by W S Weatherley, later than the building of the church.

HISTORY: The area round the church, Eltham Park, was being developed in the early C20 and Temple Moore (1856-1920) was selected to build a permanent church to replace a temporary mission hall. Moore was the greatest church designer in England in the Edwardian period and St Luke's represents his work very well. A design of 1905 envisaged a NW tower but this was given up; a design for the church was shown at the 1906 Royal Academy. When dedicated in February 1907 the church still lacked a S aisle. Moore has planned one with a low pitch in marked contrast to the steeply-sloping roof over the N aisle. The deficiency was made good in 1933 after Moore's death by the local architect, J B L Tolhurst. The building displays a characteristic of c.1900 church-building, namely a relatively plain exterior, but with an emphasis on interior design. The handling of this was well-expressed by the influential critic and enthusiast for Moore's work, H S Goodhart-Rendel, in a lecture to the RIBA in 1928: it is, he said, an example 'of the grandeur that Moore knew so well how to extract from bare shapes and homely materials'. This grandeur is particularly evident in the bold, strong forms of the arcades. With their different rhythm between N and S are an excellent example of the asymmetry that Moore so often brought to his designs. The chancel fittings are characteristic of the studied simplicity that Moore brought to his woodwork.

G K Brandwood, Temple Moore: an Architect of the Late Gothic Revival, 1997, pp 98-100, pls 63-4
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 2: South, 1983, p 280
Incorporated Church Building Society papers, Lambeth Palace Library, file 10632.
Builder, 92, 1907, p 118
Building News, 15 June 1906
Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects, 35, 1928, p 479

The church of St Luke, Eltham, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is a fine example of the work of one of the greatest Gothic revivalists, displaying many of his characteristic features and his reliance on good proportion and simple lines.
* The woodwork in the chancel is a notable example of Moore's work.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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