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Memorials in St Paul’s

22 November 2013

November 21st, 1913.

SOME people appear to have felt surprise at the announcement of the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's that no further memorials of the dead can be placed on the floor of the Cathedral without encroaching on the space required by the great crowds of worshippers that so often assemble in the Cathedral, and impairing the architectural beauty of the interior. It is obvious that, if monument went on being added to monument, the time would ultimately arrive when worshippers would be crowded out, and the Dean and Chapter are wise, we think, in commanding a halt now. The Abbey Church of Westminster serves as an object-lesson, showing how one of the most glorious buildings in the world has been largely spoilt by being lumbered up with monstrous memorial structures. The north transept is reduced to little more than a mere passage way into the choir, and the charm of that portion of the church has been completely destroyed. As regards St Paul's, there is still room in the crypt for monuments, both on the floor and on the walls, but the church proper ought to be preserved from any further encroachments on its floor space. It is always to be regretted that, particularly in the Peninsular War, monuments were indiscriminately admitted to the nave and transepts. This can be accounted for by the fact that practically the church as a place of worship was confined to the choir with its aisles, all the rest being merely a vast vestibule, void and cold, and interesting only for the memorials to dead heroes. Now all this is changed, and St Paul's is, as it should be, one vast church.

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