Who was ... ... John Tarring?

Those who have looked at Lansdowne’s replacement Corner Stone will see that the architect of our church was John Tarring of London.

John Tarring was an English architect who designed many Gothic Revival churches for Nonconformist clients.

Born at Holbeton, near Plymouth, in 1806 he worked as a carpenter and plasterer before moving to London in 1828.  He became a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1845.

Known as the ‘Gilbert Scott of the Dissenters’, he was the first architect to design a spire for a nonconformist church in London and is thought to have influenced the Baptists and Congregationalists – perhaps also the Methodists – to begin building churches in the Gothic style.

Towards the end of his life he moved to Torquay, where he died in 1875.

There are two London churches contemporary with ours which he designed whose interior bears some resemblance to Lansdowne and these are illustrated here. They give, in particular, some idea of how our own church would have looked in its original state before the false ceiling was installed, and how it might have appeared with galleries should these ever have been added.

 

Our Lady Mother of the Church, Windsor Road, Ealing, illustrated below, was built in 1868 as a Methodist church to the designs of Charles Jones and John Tarring.  It became a church for the large Polish Catholic community in that area in 1986.

 

Our Lady of Help of Christians, Kentish Town (below), more lofty in style, was built as a Methodist church in 1864-67 by John Tarring, but was taken over as a Catholic church in 1969.  With its centrally placed organ it still looks as much Methodist as Catholic in layout.