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Designs [19] and rough sketches for the altar

  • Object:


  • Date:

    1990 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cox, Stephen, born 1946 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink, coloured chalk on squared paper.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case LD, shelf 53

Physical description

Designs (19) and rough sketches for the altar of St Paul's Church, Harringay. Numbered in ink '041 14 1414'.


1990 (made)


Cox, Stephen, born 1946 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink, coloured chalk on squared paper.


Height: 34.3 cm folder, Width: 47.9 cm folder, Height: 34.5 cm, Width: 48.2 cm

Object history note

The old church of St Paul burnt down on Ash Wednesday, 1984 and Father Seeley, the parish priest, wanted a completely new church in a modern idiom. It was rebuilt in a post-modern style by Peter Inskip and Peter Jenkins, completed in 1993. Stephen Cox was commissioned to design the reredos, altar, font, and the stations of the cross. The initial idea for the reredos depicting St Paul was replaced by a view of the crucifixion from behind, over a map of the Mediterranean world showing St Paul's travels. The altar was made out of porphyry left over from the Foreign Office commission and the reredos from travertine, itself formed of fossilised carapaces of sea creatures, a symbolic link with the skull of Golgotha. The drawings track the design and manufacturing process which took place in Egypt. The worked-up photocopies show the reredos in the setting of the church.

Descriptive line

Designs [19] and rough sketches by Stephen Cox for the altar of St Paul's Church, Harringay, London, 1990. Pen and ink, coloured chalk on squared paper.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Melhuish, Claire, 'Act of Faith', Building Design, 25 May 1990, p. 24.
Seeley, John, ‘Phoenix Rising, St Paul’s, Harringay’ in Church Building (Summer 1990), p. 45.
‘Clare Melhuish reports on the new church’ in Church Building (Summer 1990), pp. 46-47.
‘Detail: St Paul’s, Harringay by Peter Inskip & Peter Jenkins’ in Architecture Today, 17 (April 1991), pp. 88-89.
Glancey, Jonathan, ‘A temple of simplicity to soothe the soul’ in The Independent, Wednesday 4 August 1993, p. 13.
Dorment, Richard, ‘Putting high art above the altar’, in The Daily Telegraph, Wednesday, August 25, 1993, p. 12.
Maxwell, Robert, ‘Sacred Space: Inskip and Jenkins in Haringey’ in Architecture Today, 43 (November 1993), pp. 36-41.
‘New Church of St Paul, Harringay (GB)’ in Eurozinc (1993), p. 13.
‘St Paul’s Harringay, Review by Clare Melhuish and Michael Jones-Frank’ in Church Building, 28 (July/August 1994), pp. 31-33.
‘Spiritual Elevation, St Paul’s Church, Wightman Road, Harringay, London N4’, in Brick Bulletin (Autumn, 1994), pp. 18-20.

Production Note

Series Date: 1990





Subjects depicted

Ecclesiastical architecture


Designs; Ecclesiastical Art/Craft


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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