HC Deb 25 June 1868 vol 192 cc2149-50

said, he rose to ask Her Majesty's Government, Whether they will obtain, by purchase or otherwise, the materials of the Tower of St. Mary Somerset Church, Upper Thames Street, now advertised for sale by tender, with a view to the re-erection of the Tower in some fitting locality? He wished to know whether the Government would follow the precedent they had themselves so well set in the case of the screen of Burlington House? The value of the materials of the Tower was, he believed, very small, while the cost of their re-erection in some other locality would not, he was informed, be more than £800 or £1,000. He hoped, therefore, that the Government would take steps to secure that a work which was designed under the superintendence of Sir Christopher Wren would not be altogether lost to the country. He should also like to know whether it might not be possible to re-erect the Tower in the burial-ground near its present site, or some other spot near its present locality?


said, that after the decision just arrived at by the House the Government would be careful in accepting works of art even as a gift. The cost of what was suggested by the hon. Member would be fully £1,500, and he did not think the Government would be justified in proposing to the House a Vote for the erection of the Tower at some future time on some site now unknown. The case of Burlington House stood in a different position to that then before the House, for Burlington House was Government property, and could be dealt with by them. If the Tower could be retained in its present locality that might be a very desirable arrangement; but the question was one which should be settled between the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and the City authorities.