St George’s Garrison Church, Woolwich
St George’s Garrison Church, Woolwich, was built between 1862 and 1863 as the chapel for the Royal Regiment of Artillery.
It was commissioned by Lord Herbert, the Secretary of State for War, and based on designs by T.H. Wyatt, who was also responsible for Wilton parish church, commissioned by Herbert’s relatives, the Pembrokes.
Both churches are striking for their Italianate style and elaborate internal decoration.
In 1944 St George’s was wrecked by a V1 flying bomb. The mosaic panels in the east end, probably created in Venice in the workshop of Antonio Salvati, survived.
HLF project: canopy roof & mosaics conserved
The church remained roofless for decades, its fine decorative features deteriorating from exposure to pollution and weather. Historic England (formerly English Heritage) identified it as ‘at–risk’ in 2000.
Following the completion in May 2015 of a project developed and co-ordinated by the Heritage of London Trust Operations, the east end now sits under a canopy roof to prevent further decay, and the most vulnerable mosaics have been conserved. A WC and kitchen unit have been installed to allow it to function as a venue for the local Woolwich communities. The work was funded by a HLF grant with contributions from a number of grant-giving trusts and individuals.
The Trust is now working with a group of local people to establish a new Trust- the Woolwich Garrison Church Trust. This group will take on the management of the site and run a series of public events for the local Woolwich communities, promoting the history of the site and the Royal Artillery through resources for schools. The site is open every Sunday. For more information go to the project website funded by the HLF grant: www.stgeorgeswoolwich.org
Conservation works: phase II
Decorative features in the east end remain extremely fragile: HOLTOP is working with Historic England and Thomas Ford and Partners to establish the extent of a second phase of works.