Reredos & Mosaics
The highly decorative reredos behind the altar is an elaborate work of the Gothic Revival, particularly popular in the Victorian era.
Made of marble, Caen stone, alabaster and mosaic, the reredos was erected in memory of the Rev Benjamin Chapman in 1872.
It depicts the Last Supper with angels bearing symbols of the Passion either side.
Commissioned in 1911, the opus sectile mosaic panels of St Mary and St Nicholas on the wall are a memorial to Frank Utterton, the late Archdeacon of Surrey and vicar here for 30 years.
the commissioning of the reredos
Estimates for the new reredos, signed W Earp, were addressed to the incumbent on 28 August 1872 on notepaper bearing Arthur Blomfield’s address. This suggest that as architect for the forthcoming restoration of 1873, he may have had an involvement in the design of the reredos.
The estimates were for £130, or £120 without mosaics, or £120 with stone figures in lieu of alabaster.
You can see that the central recess is backed with gilt mosaic and contains three alabaster figures representing the Last Supper. The four recesses also contain alabaster figures of angels bearing symbols of the Passion and have red, green and gold mosaic backgrounds. So, we know which design was eventually selected.
In the picture of the High Chancel dating from 1883, you can see the marble reredos installed before the later addition of the panels that feature St Mary and St Nicholas were erected.
An original altar stone stands against the wall behind the altar. It is somewhat surprising that this survived destruction during The Reformation.
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