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Commissioners' churches


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Following the Napoleonic Wars, it was feared that England might suffer upheavals similar to those of France, and, faced with irreligion, Nonconformity, and an increasing population (much of it restive and uncivilized), the authorities determined to build Anglican churches, numbers of which (also known as Waterloo churches) were erected under the aegis of the Commissioners for Building New Churches appointed under An Act for Promoting the Building of Additional Churches in Populous Parishes (58 George III, c.45), 1818. Most were cheap, utilitarian preaching-boxes, with any architectural pretensions reserved for the west end. Designs were Classical or in a thin, lean, unscholarly Gothic style, with low-pitched roofs, galleried interiors, and Pointed windows set in bays marked by buttresses: the last type was known as Commissioners' Gothic.

B. Clarke (1969);J. Curl (2002 b);Eastlake (1970)

Subjects: Architecture.


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