Friday 23 February 2024

Smith Square, Central London

In the heart of Westminster, Smith Square is dominated by the grade I-listed Church of St John the Evangelist, built in the early eighteenth century from Portland stone in the English Baroque style. It is surrounded by mature gardens, early-mid nineteenth century lamps and large London Plane trees. The church's floor plan represents a Greek cross with circular towers at each corner. The north and south fa├žades have giant Tuscan columns, while the east and west fronts have large Venetian windows.

The church has taken a battering over the centuries: The conservation area report says "St John's was gutted by fire in 1742, struck by lightning in 1773 and seriously damaged by a German bomb in 1941" and then refurbished in 1965-69 by Marshall Sisson for use as a concert hall. 

There are a number of other listed buildings in the square, including early eighteenth century terraces, and some early twentieth century buildings, such as the neo-Georgian Thorney House, which was built right before the First World War.