Relief

Cardinal Griffin School crest

Inscription

{On the ribbons:}
Da Mihi Animas

{On the stone below:}
Cardinal Griffin School

Presumably Da Mihi Animas was the school moto, Latin for 'Give me souls'.  Love the cardinal's hat at the top.

Site: Cardinal Griffin School (2 memorials)

E14, Canton Street, Church Green

The architectural salvage items are distributed around the edge of this garden. The foundation stone is to the left of our photo; the School crest is outside the photo, behind the camera. The sculptural figure you can see at the far right of our photo is not a memorial, but is a pleasing piece of art: 'Our Lady Star of the Sea' by Peter Watts.

The history of the site is complex and starts with a church. From Roman Catholic Church of SS Mary and Joseph:  the church "... opened ... 24th September 1856. ... built of Kentish rag-stone and was in a cruciform shape with a lantern tower at the intersection of the nave and transepts, ... said to be one of the finest of its day in London. ... On the 8th December 1940 ... the Church and Presbytery was destroyed by bombing. ... In 1946 Father (later Canon) John Wright was appointed Parish Priest and given responsibility for rebuilding the war torn Parish and its Church. The rebuilding was part of the local Lansbury Estate and part of the live architectural project which was to be part of the Festival of Britain in 1951. The site of the old church was developed as Cardinal Griffin Secondary School and opened in 1951 with a cross in its grounds marking the spot where the High Altar used to stand. Plans for the new church had been drawn up and on October 7th 1951 Cardinal Griffin laid the Foundation Stone. The site chosen was opposite the new school ... it was first used on 13th June 1954. Designed by Adrian Gilbert Scott {brother of Giles} ...".

From British History Online: the original church, on the site which is now this garden, was "... built in 1851–6 to designs by William Wilkinson Wardell (1823–99) ... Bombing destroyed the presbytery and the western half of the church in 1940....". A drawing of this church c.1930. 

In a Tower Hamlets Planning document (dead link) we found a reference to a fibre-glass Jesus on an African teak cross on a grassy mound in the south-east of the site, marking the position of the altar in the bombed church. Made by Bernard and Ann Davis in 1991 it's thought that this commemorated the second renaming of the school.  There is now (2020) a crucifix in the south-east of the site, right in the corner. The c.1900 Booth map at Layers of London shows that when the church occupied the site the south-east corner was garden, so we think the cross has been moved to a more convenient spot and no longer marks the site of the altar.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Cardinal Griffin School crest

Subjects commemorated i

Cardinal Griffin School / Blessed John Roche Catholic School

British History Online provides: The school was designed by David Stokes and ...

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This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Cardinal Griffin School crest

Also at this site i

Cardinal Griffin foundation stone

Cardinal Griffin foundation stone

This stone was laid by His Eminence Cardinal Griffin Archbishop of Westminste...

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