St Paul's Covent Garden
Engraver: Malton, T.
View of St Paul's Church in Covent Garden square, with the edge of the fruit, vegetable and flower market. This was designed by Inigo Jones for Frances Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford. It was built between 1631-33, although not consecrated until 1638, and was one of the first new churches to be built in London after the reformation. Horace Walpole criticised Bedford's meanness and the church's barn-like appearance. As this picture shows it was certainly built in a radically different style from a traditional medieval church. The main front of the church had Tuscan columns which supported the huge roof eaves. In 1788 its interior was being refaced in stone by Thomas Harrison but in 1795 the church was damaged by fire. In the late 18th century St Paul's had many famous parishioners from the artistic and theatrical world, due to its parish including the The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the Royal Opera House.