Just off Sloane Square is a church that amongst many notable things, also also famously wider that St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s name is also as long as it’s wide, being The Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity with Saint Jude, Upper Chelsea — although fortunately often shortened to Holy Trinity Sloane Street.
Built in 1888-90, it replaced a gothic revival church that was itself a mere 60 years old, but the population was growing, and so they needed a bigger church to cope. Away with the old gothic, in with a temporary tin tabernacle, and this massive church built instead.
Designed by the church architect, John Dando Sedding, who died just after it was completed, although the internal decoration had to be taken over by Henry Wilson, who technically never completed the work as a number of planed additions were not added.
What was added though is a lot of stained glass, including the huge work above the altar, and some rather nice side chapels.
The church was badly damaged by incendiary bombs in World War II but was restored more or less to its previous appearance by the early 1960s. It was then nearly demolished to be replaced with a smaller church, but a campaign led by John Betjeman and the Victorian Society prevented that.
Considering its location in Chelsea, it’s had a lot of famous people associated with it from bohemian actors to Prime Ministers. On my visit, staff were cleaning and dusting after a service, and a large side shop was doing a good trade in early sales of charity christmas cards.
As for it’s width — the church is 9 inches wider than St Paul’s Cathedral.
Location map and local interesting places
- 1] Holy Trinity Sloane Street
- 2] St Paul's, Knightsbridge
- 3] Brompton Oratory
- 4] Church of Our Most Holy Redeemer and St Thomas More
- 8] National Army Museum
- 9] Chelsea Physic Garden
- 10] Victoria and Albert Museum
- 11] Wellington Arch
- 12] The Royal Mews
- 13] Apsley House
- 14] Science Museum
- 15] The Queen's Gallery
- 16] Carlyle's House
- 17] Natural History Museum
- 18] Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum