Fitzrovia Chapel

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Interior of the restored chapel in September 2017

The Fitzrovia Chapel is situated in Pearson Square, in the centre of the Fitzroy Place development bordered by Mortimer Street, Cleveland Street, Nassau Street and Riding House Street in Fitzrovia, London. It was originally part of the now demolished Middlesex Hospital, built in 1891 by John Loughborough Pearson, and completed in 1929 by his son Frank Loughborough Pearson after the rest of the hospital was demolished and rebuilt around the chapel. The chapel is a Grade II* listed building. Historic England describes the style as "Italian Gothic". All the internal surfaces are decorated, with much use of polychrome marbles and mosaics.[1][2]

The Fitzrovia Chapel Foundation[edit]

The Fitzrovia Chapel is managed by a charity, the Fitzrovia Chapel Foundation. It is a secular chapel and is operated as a venue for non-religious ceremonies and weddings. The foundation has a licence to conduct civil marriages and to supply alcohol.

Hiring the chapel[edit]

The chapel is also used by community groups and the arts, as well as being available for private hire. It is the venue for many events during Fitzfest and the London Handel Festival. It has been used by artists including Katie Melua, Allman Brown and the Vickers Bovey Guitar Duo.

Fashion brands have used the chapel as a backdrop to shows, shoots and presentations. These have included Phoebe English, Alistair James and Sharon Wauchob.

In May 2017, the Horiuchi Foundation presented a series of photographs at the chapel by Tomohiro Muda. The exhibition was called Icons of Time: Memories of the Tsunami that Struck Japan. Richard Ingleby Gallery hosted an exhibition during Frieze London in October 2017. Artists David Batchelor, Jonathan Owen, Kevin Harman and Peter Liversdge were included in it. In July 2017, Erskine, Hall & Coe presented Claudi Casanovas’s Minvant at the chapel. In 2016, the TJ Boulting gallery hosted Stephanie Quayle's Jenga at the Fitzrovia Chapel and in December 2017, Siân Davey's Looking for Alice.

The Ward[edit]

Leading up to World AIDS Day in 2017, the chapel presented its first photographic exhibition. Called The Ward, it followed the lives of four young men on the Broderip and Charles Bell wards in London’s former Middlesex Hospital. The Broderip was the first AIDS ward in London and was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales in 1987, this year marking the thirtieth anniversary of its opening. The photographer was Gideon Mendel who chronicled the wards in 1993. The exhibition was featured in The British Journal of Photography, Wallpaper, The Guardian, AnOther Magazine and on BBC News.

Quiet Reflection and Wireless Contemplation[edit]

Each Wednesday between 11:00 and 16:00 the chapel is open to the public for quiet contemplation, meditation and reflection. There is no charge and booking is not required.

Each month the chapel offers an audio presentation linked to culturally significant themes that are important to the heritage of Fitzrovia. These have included a celebration of Dylan and Caitlin Thomas, Virginia Woolf, Oscar Wilde and Paul Verlaine. It is a chance to sit and reflect out of the distraction of the every day.

One of the images from The Ward exhibition at the Fitzrovia Chapel in November 2017.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Historic England. "Middlesex Hospital Chapel  (Grade II*) (1223496)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  2. ^ Historic England. "Details from image database (419233)". Images of England. Retrieved 18 July 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′08″N 0°08′18″W / 51.5190°N 0.1383°W / 51.5190; -0.1383