The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 19 From Charing Cross To St Paul's Cathedral

St Clement Danes

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In the middle of the Strand, opposite the east end of Aldwych, rises the church of St. Clement Danes, designed by Wren and built in 1681, according to the date in the ceiling, on the site of a much earlier building, traditionally believed to be the burial-place of Harold Harefoot and other Danes. It was restored in 1879 and again in 1898. The tower, added by James Gibbs in 1719, is 115 feet high and contains an old peal of bells ('Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clements'). Dr. Johnson, a worshipper in the church, is commemorated by a tablet on his pew (in the north gallery), a stained-glass window (1909), and a statue by Percy Fitzgerald, outside the choir (1910). The organ (restored) is one of Father Smith's. On the south wall of the nave is a war memorial erected and maintained by London flower-girls. Thomas Otway (1652-85) and Nathaniel Lee (died 1692), the dramatic poets, were buried in the church or churchyard. At the annual children's service, on March 31st, oranges and lemons are handed to the youthful congregation by children of Danish residents in London. Opposite the west front is the Gladstone Memorial, by Hamo Thornycroft (1905), representing the great statesman in the robes of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with groups expressive of Brotherhood, Education, Aspiration, and Courage. On the north side of this point of the Strand lies Clement's Inn, an ancient Inn of Chancery, but no longer restricted to lawyers. The �mad Shallow� and �lusty Shallow� of Shakespeare was �once of Clement's Inn,� where Falstaff remembered him �like a man made after supper of a cheese-paring� (Henry IV., Pt. II., iii. 2). Clement's Inn is the Shepherd's Inn of �Pendennis.� Wenzel Hollar, the engraver (1607-77), lodged �without St. Clement's back door,� adjacent to St. Clement's Inn, in 1661.