London offers a vast selection of historical structures that make its landscape a memorable one.
From the landmark St Paul’s to the towering steeple of St Leonard’s church in Shoreditch, you will encounter London’s most magnificent churches and cathedrals.
There are numerous types of churches in the capital city of the United Kingdom, ranging from big to small, urban to rural, and historic to new.
However, we have put together a list of the top five smallest churches.
1. St Ethelburga-the-Virgin
St. Ethelburga’s Church on Bishopsgate is not just the tiniest church in London, but also one of the oldest ones.
Portions of the church date back to the 13th century, although the majority of the structure was constructed in the 15th century.
When it was constructed, it was the highest structure in Bishopsgate. It is currently dwarfed by nearly everything nearby.
Being one of the few structures in the city to withstand the great fire without damage, the church had a long period of good fortune.
Similarly, it sustained minor damage during the Blitz. As part of a plan to enlarge the road, the store on its front porch, which had been established to raise cash for the parish, was removed during this time period.
The church was severely damaged by an IRA explosion in 1993, and the future of St. Ethelburga-the-Virgin became uncertain.
Due to its size, the church had been specifically designated obsolete roughly two years before the bombing.
However, many members of the public desired its reconstruction as defiance. The church is now the St. Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace when a resolution was ultimately reached.
The work of St. Ethelburga lies at the confluence of environment and peace. The church team feels that there cannot be harmony on Earth unless there is peace between humans and Earth.
They provide events, training, leadership development courses, and multimedia resources that equip and encourage individuals to become peacekeepers in their local communities.
Community healing, refugee integration, revolutionary resilience, perspective diversity, and spiritual sustainability are among their project areas.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7496 1610
Address: 78 Bishopsgate, London, United Kingdom.
2. All Hallows by the Tower
All Hallows is most famous for its relationship with the renowned diarist Samuel Pepys.
When the Great Fire of London broke out in 1666, he ascended the brick tower of All Hallows to see the fire spread over the city.
Pepys resided on Seething Lane, directly opposite All Hallows. However, this old church is more than just an observation point!
All Hallows-by-the-Tower asserts that it is London’s oldest church. The ancient church was founded by the Abbey of Barking in 675, and one of its original arches still stands today.
Underneath the Saxon arch, remnants of Roman pavement indicate that this location was occupied as early as 2,000 years ago.
Due to its proximity to the Tower of London, All Hallows received the remains of many of those unfortunate who were executed there, notably Sir Thomas More, Bishop Fisher, and Archbishop Laud.
Although the font’s cover sculpted by Grinling Gibbons was unharmed during the Blitz, only the church’s tower and walls withstood the bombing.
In 1948, the Queen Mother set a new cornerstone for the church, signaling the reconstruction of the old structure.
Typically, the church is open during daylight hours. It is just a few steps away from the Tower of London and is definitely worth the journey.
Tel: (020) 7481 2928
Address: Byward Street, London, EC3R 5BJ, United Kingdom.
3. St Mary’s
St. Mary’s is found in Northolt. It is thought that a church has existed on the site since 1086 when the Normans invaded England.
Reading their records reveals that the chapel used to be even smaller than it is currently. The numerous extensions and renovations it has undergone during its history demonstrate this.
Even the bell tower was not added until the 18th century.
St Mary with St Richard is now the parish name –St Richard’s is a 10-minute walk away — likely because St Mary’s was too tiny to function on its own.
Moreover, St. Mary’s continues to hold regular services; if you are in the neighborhood, stop by. But perhaps you should not bring too many people.
Tel: 0208 841 5691
Address: St Mary’s Rectory, Ealing Road, Northolt UB5 6AA
4. Temple Church
Temple Church is a beautiful and reverent church entrenched in the history of Christianity, this country, and the Common Law World as a whole.
The Round Church was constructed in 1162 as London’s Jerusalem. Magna Carta was signed in the Temple between 1214 and 1219, and its foremost hero was interred in the Church.
From the American Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to colonial founding documents, the Temple was the cradle of American Law.
And till now, the Church provides some of the great discussions, services, and music in London to the judicial colleges, London’s citizens, and visitors from all over the world.
Tel: 020 7353 8559
Address: 1 Inner Temple Lane, Temple, London, EC4Y 1AF, United Kingdom.
5. St Hugh’s
Well, St Hugh’s only occupies the bottom level of the building, and it is considered one of the smallest churches in London– so tiny that not even the giant Wikipedia recognizes it.
Moreover, it was located in the cellar of the Charterhouse Mission community and served the inhabitants of West Bermondsey since 1896.
When the building was considered to be of no use anymore for service in 2009, it was auctioned.
Due to religious law, the church had to be replaced, which resulted in the construction of the current St Hugh’s.
Tel: +44 20 7367 6721
Address: Vintry Court, Crosby Row, London SE1 3PT, United Kingdom.