THE STRAND, WITH ST. MARY'S CHURCH, LOOKING EAST.
The church of St. Mary-le-Strand was designed by Gibbs, and though it has been censured as tawdry by medievalists in architecture, it has won no small admiration from critics with a more catholic taste. The first of fifty churches built by order in the reign of Queen Anne, it dates from the year 1717. In the distance may be seen the spire of St. Clement Danes' and the tower of the Royal Palace of Justice. The narrow street beginning at the north-east corner of St. Mary's (on the left) is Holywell Street, which it is proposed to demolish in order to effect a much-needed widening of the Strand. To the right of our view is the Strand fašade of Somerset House, and beyond it the entrance to King's College.
source: The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896