© Miss Patricia Philpott ARPS
ST VEDASTS RECTORY, 4 FOSTER LANE EC2 (east side)
CITY OF LONDON, CITY OF LONDON, GREATER LONDON
Miss Patricia Philpott ARPS
23 August 2005
15 July 1998
Date of last amendment:
15 July 1998
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TQ 3281 SW FOSTER LANE, EC2
No. 4 (St Vedast's Rectory)
House. 1959 by Stephen Dykes Bower. Brick construction with concrete floors and flat lead roof. Street elevation in yellow brick with rubbed red brick arches to openings. Four-storey house, with unconventional and successful interior plan.
Neo-classical style. Casement windows throughout except where noted. Banded yellow brick rusticated base with four basement windows at pavement level and four ground-floor windows above, flanked left by lunette and right by arch-headed double door to courtyard, with stone block rustication. First floor of four bays beneath low relief arches on flush stone pilasters with capping band extending to sides. Three windows to second floor over, and open pediment in stone with circular blind opening and walls carried up to form parapet at third floor level. Courtyard elevation at ground floor is a covered passageway on three piers, with two circular windows. First-floor balcony on paired console brackets supports 1800-style iron balustrade. Four bays of French windows with lights over, set in stuccoed surround with pilasters and four shallow arches. Second floor has five bays of sash windows. Third floor has three right-hand bays blank stucco with teak trellis and openwork pier to the left. Teak companion ladder rises from roof garden to rooftop. At right angles, upper gallery connects Rectory to Church Hall with single pier support, timber superstructure with dentil cornice and four bays of sash windows. Courtyard includes a fountain beneath red brick open pediment with arch of tiles on edge. Centre of arch formed by stone lunette with radial fluting and bronze lion's head mask. There is a stone head on a granite bracket under the covered part of the courtyard, with brass plate stating 'Head by Epstein'.
Interior. Main timber stair with mahogany wreathed handrail, knob newel finials and tear-shaped drops. First-floor living room has raised platform at entry with balustrade and curved wall, on which is a mural by Hans Feibusch signed and dated HF 1959 of Jacob and angels. Painted timber chimneypiece. Third floor study with fitted bookshelves including two acting as dado-height room dividers at entrance and three French windows giving on to roof garden.
A rare domestic work by a leading traditionalist church architect. It has fine and scholarly elevations, of equal quality with the better-known work of Raymond Erith, and an unconventional and successful plan. It is a clever contrast with the style of the adjacent Wren church, which Dykes Bower restored, suggesting a period of c.1800 but without any stylistic conflict. There was no previous rectory on this site.
Mark Girouard, 'A City of London Surprise', Country Life, 2.6.60