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Church of St Michael and All Angels, Old Royal Military Academy

A Grade II Listed Building in Greenwich, London

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Latitude: 51.4749 / 51°28'29"N

Longitude: 0.0588 / 0°3'31"E

OS Eastings: 543079

OS Northings: 177117

OS Grid: TQ430771

Mapcode National: GBR NK.TRC

Mapcode Global: VHHNQ.Y6Y5

Plus Code: 9F32F3F5+XG

Entry Name: Church of St Michael and All Angels, Old Royal Military Academy

Listing Date: 17 July 2003

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1390520

English Heritage Legacy ID: 490439

ID on this website: 101390520

Location: Shooters Hill, Greenwich, London, SE18

County: London

District: Greenwich

Electoral Ward/Division: Woolwich Common

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Greenwich

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: Woolwich St Mary Magdalene with St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Southwark

Tagged with: Church building

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786/0/10158 ACADEMY ROAD
17-JUL-03 Church of St Michael and All Angels, O
ld Royal Military Academy

Originally chapel to Royal Military Academy, later garrison church. Foundation stone laid in 1902 by Earl Roberts and completed in 1904 to the designs of Major Hemming of the Royal Engineers. Perpendicular style and cruciform plan. Red brick in Flemish bond with stone dressings and slate roof with octagonal lead cupola and weathervane. Five bay nave, lower one bay chancel, west porch, transepts with further entrances and vestry to north transept.
EXTERIOR: West front has a large arched window flanked by octagonal brick and stone turrets and a square porch with buttresses and elliptical arch. Nave has triple cinquefoil windows under elliptical arches and are divided by buttresses. Gabled transepts, the south transept with offset buttresses and door flanked by sidelights in west side. The north transept has two tall octagonal crenellated turrets with a vestry below, vestry entrance to the east and and a further splayed entrance into the church to the west for the use of soldier staff of the Academy and their families. Chancel has arched and traceried east window and offset buttresses.
INTERIOR: Wooden hammerbeam roof supported on stone corbels. West window has stained glass of 1920 by Christopher Whall which has a representation of the front parade of the Royal Military Academy, the motto "QUO FAS ET GLORIA DUCUNT" and soldiers in various historical dress paying homage to the Virgin and Child. Oak panelled lower walls. Originally the church had seats rather than pews which were fitted in c1934. Fretted Perpendicular style screen with marble base and memorials up two marble steps and attached to the screen is an octagonal carved pulpit with marble base with memorials. The chancel has carved oak choir stalls, gallery to the north and organ chamber to the south. There is a memorial to the south in the form of an oriel window to Herbert Jones Fleming, 1911-1914 and 1918-22. To the north chancel wall is an attached oval marble of St Michael vanquishing the devil. The Sanctuary has a marble floor and railings with cast iron scrollwork balustrading and wooden handrail. Elaborate panelling incorporating three sedilia with elaborate canopies to left and two similar to right. The wooden reredos and east window form the Addiscombe Memorial of 1906-07. The reredos depicts Christ in Majesty flanked by St Thomas, Joshua, St Bartholomew and Longinus. The side windows to the Sanctuary have to the north St Michael and St Raphael and to the south St Uriel and St Gabriel.
A particular interest is the wealth of memorials to alumni of the royal Military Academy, mainly tablets in the oak panelling to the north and south walls of the nave. By the pulpit is a memorial to Christopher Chevenix Trench who died of a fever in South Africa, a bronze statue with shield and octagonal canopy. There is a brass plaque to the memory of Richard Henry Jelf d.1913, Governor of the Royal Military Academy and responsible for getting the chapel built. There are tablets to Earl Kitchener of Khartoum, Col. Commandant of the Royal Engineers, Field Marshall Earl Roberts of Kandahar and a plaque to General Sir Robert Mansergh, Adjutant at the Royal Military Academy. A brass Kohina memorial of 1944 was brought here from Africa in 1981. There are numerous other memorial tablets.
HISTORY: The chapel was built for the Gentleman cadets of the royal Military Academy because until 1904 they had to use the Garrison Church of St George at the east end of the Front Parade which was a mile away and not very convenient. The estimated cost was o5000, the architect Major E H Hemming RE and the work supervised by the Commander Royal Engineers Woolwich. Until the closure of the Royal Military Academy in 1939 the chapel provided for the spiritual needs of the Gentleman Cadets destined for the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers and Royal Signals. When the Garrison Church of St George was destroyed by a German flying bomb in 1944 this chapel became the Garrison Church. Besides being a place of worship, the chapel was always intended to be a "campo Santo" for memorials to those trained at the Academy who had died in the service of their country, and the many rolls of honour and inscribed brass or copper plates attest to this role.

[BOE London:South p289.]

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