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Monument to Joseph Hart, North Section

A Grade II Listed Building in Islington, London

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.5239 / 51°31'25"N

Longitude: -0.0893 / 0°5'21"W

OS Eastings: 532653

OS Northings: 182282

OS Grid: TQ326822

Mapcode National: GBR S7.3X

Mapcode Global: VHGQT.DYNP

Entry Name: Monument to Joseph Hart, North Section

Listing Date: 21 February 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1396544

English Heritage Legacy ID: 508579

Location: Islington, London, EC1Y

County: London

District: Islington

Electoral Ward/Division: Bunhill

Built-Up Area: Islington

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Giles Cripplegate

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text


635-1/0/10238 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Joseph Hart, North section

GV II
Obelisk monument to Joseph Hart, 1875

LOCATION: 532653.4, 182281.2

MATERIALS: Red granite with iron railings

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of a tall granite obelisk, set on a square pedestal with a pedimental cap and two-stage base; beneath is a low sandstone plinth surrounded by iron railings with fleur de lys finials. The inscription describes the events of Hart's life and commemorates the erection of the present monument in 1875 'by lovers of Hart's hymns, published in 1759 and still highly prized by the church of God'.

HISTORY: Joseph Hart (1711/2-1768) was an Independent minister and religious writer who achieved a lasting reputation as a hymnodist. Born in London, his early life was marked by a protracted spiritual crisis, expressed in his 1741 essay 'The Unreasonableness of Religion', affirming the opposition between faith and reason. A conversion experience on Whit Sunday 1757 marked his return to the fold; in 1759 he published his enduringly popular collection of 'Hymns &c Composed on Various Subjects', and from 1760 he was minister at the Jewin Street Chapel, where he attracted a large congregation. 20,000 people are said to have attended his funeral at Bunhill Fields in 1768. His work remained popular a century later, and in 1875 a subscription was raised to replace his original memorial with a more monumental structure.

Bunhill Fields was first enclosed as a burial ground in 1665. Thanks to its location just outside the City boundary, and its independence from any Established place of worship, it became London's principal Nonconformist cemetery, the burial place of John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and other leading religious and intellectual figures. It was closed for burials in 1853, laid out as a public park in 1867, and re-landscaped following war damage by Bridgewater and Shepheard in 1964-5.

SOURCES: Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (1902).
A W Light, Bunhill Fields (London, 1915).
JM Rigg, rev. John S Andrews, entry on Hart in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Joseph Hart is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates a noted C18 religious writer and hymnodist.
* It is an imposing granite obelisk, testifying to increasingly monumental late-C19 modes of commemoration.
* It is located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed tombs in the north section.

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

Description


635-1/0/10238 BUNHILL FIELDS BURIAL GROUND
21-FEB-11 Monument to Joseph Hart, North section

GV II
Obelisk monument to Joseph Hart, 1875

LOCATION: 532653.4, 182281.2

MATERIALS: Red granite with iron railings

DESCRIPTION: The monument takes the form of a tall granite obelisk, set on a square pedestal with a pedimental cap and two-stage base; beneath is a low sandstone plinth surrounded by iron railings with fleur de lys finials. The inscription describes the events of Hart's life and commemorates the erection of the present monument in 1875 'by lovers of Hart's hymns, published in 1759 and still highly prized by the church of God'.

HISTORY: Joseph Hart (1711/2-1768) was an Independent minister and religious writer who achieved a lasting reputation as a hymnodist. Born in London, his early life was marked by a protracted spiritual crisis, expressed in his 1741 essay 'The Unreasonableness of Religion', affirming the opposition between faith and reason. A conversion experience on Whit Sunday 1757 marked his return to the fold; in 1759 he published his enduringly popular collection of 'Hymns &c Composed on Various Subjects', and from 1760 he was minister at the Jewin Street Chapel, where he attracted a large congregation. 20,000 people are said to have attended his funeral at Bunhill Fields in 1768. His work remained popular a century later, and in 1875 a subscription was raised to replace his original memorial with a more monumental structure.

Bunhill Fields was first enclosed as a burial ground in 1665. Thanks to its location just outside the City boundary, and its independence from any Established place of worship, it became London's principal Nonconformist cemetery, the burial place of John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake and other leading religious and intellectual figures. It was closed for burials in 1853, laid out as a public park in 1867, and re-landscaped following war damage by Bridgewater and Shepheard in 1964-5.

SOURCES: Corporation of London, A History of the Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (1902).
A W Light, Bunhill Fields (London, 1915).
JM Rigg, rev. John S Andrews, entry on Hart in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, www.oxforddnb.com (retrieved on 9 June 2009).

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The monument to Joseph Hart is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It commemorates a noted C18 religious writer and hymnodist.
* It is an imposing granite obelisk, testifying to increasingly monumental late-C19 modes of commemoration.
* It is located within the Grade I registered Bunhill Fields Burial Ground (q.v.), and has group value with the other listed tombs in the north section.

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