The Camden District Church in Camberwell, London, a few hundred yards from St. Giles, was originally built in 1795 as a chapel for the Countess of Huntingdon’s Connection, but by 1843 when Ruskin and his parents first attended, it had become an evangelical Church of England church. In 1854, Sir George Gilbert Scott added a new apse to the church which accorded with Ruskin’s taste for Venetian architecture. Although it is not certain if he had any role in the design, Ruskin was enthusiastic over Scott’s little apse, describing it as ‘faultless and exceedingly beautiful’. The church was bombed in the Second World War and demolished in the 1950’s, but from an illustration which appeared in The Builder in 1854, it appears to have been a lavish display of constructive polychromy. The Camden Church is noteworthy because of Ruskin’s praise but it was very unusual for Scott at that time. The great bulk of his work continued with variations of the architecture that flourished in England on either side of the start of the fourteenth century; the so-called Middle Pointed.
Pevsner, N., London except the Cities of London and Westminster, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1952), p. 76.
Ruskin, J., Praeterita (Everyman, London, 2005), p. 353.
Brooks, M. W., John Ruskin and Victorian Architecture (Thames and Hudson, London, 1989), pp. 55-60.
The Builder, 1854, p. 363.
Muthesius, S., The High Victorian Movement in Architecture, 1850-70 (Routledge & Kegan Paul Books, London and Boston, 1972), p. 170.