Make the most of London

 

John Betjeman in Highbury

Posted by London Guided Walks on Thursday, August 28, 2014 Under: 20th century

St Saviour's Church, Aberdeen Park

Aberdeen Park is an unexpected expansive leafy haven in inner London with public access. The residents are responsible for most aspects of Aberdeen Park's upkeep and is reflected in its relaxing ambience. Why aren't more places like this?


There are 341 address in Aberdeen park, predominantly domestic architecture covering 150 years.


There are four storey Victorian villas on the South and East perimeter with iconic Italianate towers built in 1850's for prosperous City merchants and well to do families.


St Saviour's church is the only Grade I listed building in Islington, converted in 1988 but closed in 1980. Designed by William White, architect noted for his part in C19th Gothic revival and church restoration. After moving to London from Lemington Spa he became an Improver in George Gilbert Scott's (designer of Albert Memorial, Hyde Park) team for two years. William White worked on five churches in London including Battersea and Wandsworth. He moved to Truro, Cornwall. Most of his work was done in Devon and Cornwall.


John Betjeman, the poet, worshipped at St Saviour's church as a boy with his family before moving to Highgate.  His religious beliefs came through in some of his poems including 'Christmas' and his autobiography poem 'Summoned by Bells' (1960) in which he remembers childhood visits to Aberdeen Park:


"Slow walks we took

On sunny afternoons to great-great-aunts

In tall Italianate Houses: Aberdeen Park,

Hillmarton Road and Upper Pooter-land.

Short gravel drives to steepish flights of steps

And stained-glass windows in a purple hall,

A drawing-room with stands of plotted plants,

Lace curtains screening other plants beyond"


His grandparents married at St Saviour's in 1870 and his parents Ernest and Mabel married in the same church in 1902 and shares it with us in his poem St Saviour's, Aberdeen Park, Highbury, London N (1948):


"Great red church of my parents, cruciform crossing they knew-

Over these same encaustics they and their parents trod

Bound through a red-brick transept for a once familiar pew

Where the organ set them singing nd the sermon let them nod

And up the coloured brickwork the same long shadows grew

As these in the stencilled chancel where I kneel in the presence of God."


John Betjeman is currently rate #344 in the top 500 poets.


Book a private guided walk in London

In : 20th century 


Tags: poetry  highbury 
comments powered by Disqus

Tags

"online bookings' cpd #earthrise 1930s 50th a abbey afternoon afternoon tea ages alastair ancient and animals annie anniversary apps architecture arsenal art arts attack awards baker barbican bathhouses bazalgette beasts bishopsgate blitz bombers books borough breakfast brewery brick bridge britain british bronze age brunch burger burlesque buses cabaret cake canal canary captain carl carol caroline cathedral cemetery cenotaph chapman charles charlton cheap cheapside cheese childhood chips chiswick chocolate christmas church city city of london clerkenwell cocktails coffee coffeehouses concert corporate covent covent garden covid-19 crime cross crown cruise day december deptford dick dickens dinner do dock dockland museum dragons dreamtime earth eat eating eats ecommerce edward edwin egypt end ernst event events exhibition exhibitions facebook fall family fantastic farringdon february festival film finance fire first fiscus florence folklore food for francis free friars gallery galliard garden george georgian german germany gibb gift grade great greenhithe greenwich group guided guides half hall halsk harle harry potter havering havering hoard hawksmoor hazel hidden highbury hill hilton history holloway homes hotel house how i ian ianmcd ice cream icelandic ii iii in islington italian iv jack jack the ripper james jenny jewels joseph katharines kenneth kew gardens kids kidstours kings kingston lambeth lane lewis lights limestone literature locations londinium london london bridge londoners lunch lutyens magnus market markets martyr mary maufe mayfair mcdiarmid medical medieval memorial middle mock-tudor modern montague monument moorgate mosaic murder museum museum of london docklands music musicals n7 national gallery national history museum ned newcomen news night nightingale nurse of old street oliver open opera pancakes pandemic panoramic park parties pauls people photo photograhy photography photos pizza places plays plumstead podcast poetry pokemon poplar prince priory private tours pub public purbeck qe2 queen queenhithe quirky reid religion rembrandt renaissance restoration ripper river road rob roman roundhouse royal saga saxon sculpture scupture seacole second sewers siemens sir smartphone smith smithfields soap soho somme southbank southwark spitalfields spy squirrels ss st statue stories street stuart subscription summer susan sydenham tate tea term thames thamesmeade the theatre thiepval things things to do thrifty thriftytheatre to tour tours tower travel truman tudor tumblety twelfth twist und underground update v&a ve victoria victorian victorian london viking vouchers wales walk walking walks wall war water werner wharf wheeler whitechapel wildlife willelm william wine winter women wood woodland woolwich world wyatt 1888 2019 2020

LONDON GUIDED WALKS:

LEARN MORE:

CONNECT WITH US:

USEFUL LINKS:

Site by Hazel  |  Photographs by Hazel or Ian