St Alban, Holborn was originally designed by William Butterfield, 1856-62. It was catastrophically damaged in 1941 and rebuilt except for west tower by Giles Gilbert Scott in 1959-61.
Butterfield’s original church was burnt out in the Blitz. Although it was in a good enough state to have a memorial Mass enacted in the church’s notoriously High Church manner in its shell, it was not considered sustainable to support a new roof after the serious fire damage to its structure. All but the west tower – almost like a jolly High Victorian Gothic version of a European early medieval westwerk – and the east wall was to be demolished and replaced by Giles Gilbert Scott.
Butterfield’s interior had been fairly straightforward, a traditional Gothic arcade set with a continuous lancet clerestory above, enlivened with much of his usual architectural polychromy. Scott however, replaced it with sombre version of his Liverpool Cathedral internal buttressing: the nave one storey of tall arches almost up to the ceiling containing tall windows with a large oculus in the head, an arched passageway through the buttressing to the next bay.
The chancel however, is very similar to Butterfield’s original two-storey design: continuous lancets in the clerestory, an arch below, followed by the unaisled sanctuary. All the arches are plain and traditionally moulded throughout, except for the chancel arch on the site of Butterfield’s, which is oddly totally in the medieval tradition. Although the east wall is plainly mostly original externally, internally it has been used as a canvas for German Jewish émigré artist Hans Feibusch.