St Simon’s Lane

At the back of St Simon’s Church in Farringdon Road, at the eastern end of Salisbury Road we find St Simon’s Lane. Named, obviously enough, after the church, it is interesting to reflect on the ecclesiastical structure itself. First mooted in 1897 the site was purchased in 1900 but work didn’t actually begin in earnest until 1906, the year after the foundation stone had been laid. Even then, when it was consecrated in September 1907, the church was far from complete. Indeed it was to stand with a temporary, galvanised west wall for another fifty-seven years before stone from the then recently Granby Barracks was used to finish the job. By that stage the original plans – which included a bell tower, cloister and two porches – had long been abandoned.

The site of the church is actually the second one bought for the purpose, the original idea had been to build off Salisbury Road itself, but the site was considered too small and it was sold off – Salisbury Road Baptist Church was erected on that site instead.