St Johns Toorak, Pugin-esque Gothic Revival downunder.

#StJohnsToorak has this amazingly huge spire/tower, attached to an otherwise very low roofed not that big church, with small small windows and doors, the roofs coming way down – I thought maybe the spire was added later to compensate for the small scale but no apparently it’s based on the original 1859 #WilliamWardell design, though designed by someone else, but overall the form is very similar to the 1840s #StGilesCheadle, by AWNPugin, which also has a huge central spire, so that explains it. This is the only Anglican Church Wardell did (since he was a Catholic convert and was already doing St Patrick’s Cathedral); he got the commission one year after stepping off the boat, as a (new ?) friend of a Mr Dauglish, the instigator of the project for an Anglican Church for Toorak, as a split off from #ChristchurchSouthYarra, who were very annoyed as they’d just finished the nave of a much bigger church; perhaps that’s why this one is relatively modest. Wardell had left a busy practice in London which included many churches, and he put together a pamphlet of his work and sent it in advance which worked a treat. His designs tended toward the simple, no fiddly bits, but strong massing, often quite vertical, he liked the #broachspire idea, and used bluestone a lot. The rear window is if the 1937 Angel Chapel by #LouisWilliamsArchiect, who also did the WW1 memorial out the front in 1923, which is a very unusual feature.

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