“Up into the early 1840s, Savage was clearly a force to be reckoned with.”*

*Jacqueline Banerjee, on the architect James Savage.


Angela Neustatter wrote in The Guardian of 18 Sep 2016:

“On a Tuesday in July, Dr David Zigmond skimmed down London’s Old Jamaica Road on his 1980s motorbike, as he had done for the past four decades, curving into the courtyard of St James church in Bermondsey, cutting his engine, removing his helmet and striding into a part of the church where he held his surgery. Here there was the customary ebullient greeting of staff and patients, questions about new babies and ageing grandparents. The 69-year-old’s slightly dishevelled appearance – cord trousers, checked shirt open at the neck “although I wouldn’t go as far as Tom Jones in his day” mattress-stuffing curls and a boyish smile – lets you know he doesn’t do formal.

St James’s Church, Bermondsey, is a Church of England parish church in Bermondsey, south London. Designed by James Savage, it was most expensive of the churches built by the Commission for Building Fifty New Churches. It was completed and consecrated in 1829 and given a separate parish (split off from the ancient parish of St Mary Magdalene’s, Bermondsey) in 1840. In 1949 it was designated a Grade II* listedbuilding.
The churchyard was closed to burials in 1855, and was then used for communal drying. It was converted to gardens by the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association, and opened to the public in 1886. An obelisk memorial and some chest-tombs were retained.”

He welcomes patients calling him by his first name if they wish, although “not everyone wants the ‘call me Dave’ approach.” In his consulting room there are exotic model birds winking at you – a couple of toucans, parrots hanging from lamps – and just about everywhere you look polished carved wooden animals, many bought for him by patients. The interior, with its art prints covering the walls, resembles a well-used sitting room with deep armchairs and a strong, comfy chair – perfect for when Dr Zigmond needs a patient to lean back and be examined, yet feel at ease.

Dr Zigmond has an engaging garrulous good humour and evidently takes enormous pleasure in his work, drawing on skills gained from training as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist as well as in medicine (For the past 38 years he has spent one day a week at Hammersmith Hospital doing psychological medicine): “My patients’ souls are as important as their physical wellbeing,” he says…


…They have come through the well-tended graveyard of St James church, modelled on a Greek temple with pilloried (sic) galleries around three sides, by architect James Savage. For all its grandeur, it is set in one of London’s poorest neighbourhoods, surrounded by acres of tower blocks and housing estates…”

St James, Bermondsey – Font

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