Altar frontal at St Augustine's Church, Kilburn, London NW6. One of many embroidered frontal and vestments in the church's collection. This one features the Archangel Michael, treading the serpent underfoot after having pinned it down and dispatched it with his sword. He bears the shield of St George, the saint with which he is often identified and collated. Around him are seraphim and seraphim. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

This is another of the gorgeous frontals in the church's collection, perhaps one of those that first greeted the the members of the Ecclesiological Society of St Paul's who visited the church in May 1884, and enthused over them. In fact it sounds very much like the one described as follows, only a decade later, in a little booklet about the church:

The frontal has in the middle S. Michael, the warrior archangel; his hand rests on his shield and his foot on the vanquished Dragon; his head is illuminated by the “rainbow round about the Throne” as he raises his face to the Throne of God. Beside him are the fiery Seraphim, who “love most," and the Cherubim, who “know most;” and by their sides their beryl wheels, full of eyes, as Ezekiel saw them (i. 4, &c.). Then are the other heavenly orders: Thrones, with hands uplifted to bear the Throne of God; Dominations, green like the earth which they rule; armed Principalities and Virtues, from whose censers issues the sweet savour of Christ; Powers; and Angels, with hands up raised to God, alight on earth to minister to us. The lilies represent the Blessed Virgin, sweetest flower of earth, and fit for the Paradise of God. [J. H. H. 25-26]

Photographs by John Salmon and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit John Salmon and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.

Related Material


J., H. H. S. Augustine's Church, Kilburn. A Short Account of Its Structure, Vestments, and Other Works of Art. London: Morton & Burt, 1894. Hathii Trust. From a copy in the library of Princeton University. Web. 26 April 2021.

"St Augustine's, Kilburn." The Building News and Engineering Journal Vol. 46: 663. Google Books. Free Ebook. Web. 27 April 2021.

Created 26 April 2021