Fitzrovia Chapel – London, England - Atlas Obscura

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Fitzrovia Chapel

Designed by the architect who also had a hand in crafting the Westminster Abbey and Bristol Cathedral.  

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Originally part of the Middlesex hospital that opened in the 1740s, this glorious little chapel is all that’s left after the major redevelopment of the area. The hospital itself served a long and illustrious history. Besides being one of the first to install maternity beds in the country after it opened, it was the first hospital to provide care and treatment during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s.

The chapel was designed by John Loughborough Pearson, a renowned ecclesiastical architect of the late 19th century who worked on Westminster Abbey and Bristol Cathedral, before turning his hand to something on a much smaller scale but no less grand. The chapel was officially opened by the Bishop of London in 1892.

Although the golden mosaic ceiling is one of the chapel’s most breathtaking features, it was not the first ceiling designed for the building. Pearson’s original design consisted of an open oak ceiling in the main space, with golden mosaic writing only over the chancel, including a simple Alpha and Omega mosaic above the altar. Pearson began replacing the wooden vaults with full mosaics in 1929. Pearson was unable to complete the ceiling, his son Frank who also designed the marble altar, finished his father’s work.

Know Before You Go

Having been fully restored the chapel is open to the public each Wednesday, entry is free. It is advisable to check the website, as there are often art exhibitions associated with the building's history. 

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September 12, 2022

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