The City of London is home to over 50 churches, each with its own unique history and architecture. From the historic to the beautiful, here are a few top picks for those looking to explore the city’s religious landmarks.
While it may be impossible to cover every individual church in the City of London, this article will provide a brief overview of some of the most noteworthy ones. Whether you’re a history buff or simply enjoy admiring beautiful architecture, these churches are sure to impress.
- 1 City of London Churches
- 2 City of London Churches Practical Information and Map
- 3 More City of London Guides
- The City of London is home to over 50 churches with unique histories and architecture.
- This article provides a brief overview of some of the most noteworthy churches in the area.
- Whether interested in history or architecture, these churches are worth a visit.
City of London Churches
The City of London is home to some of the oldest and most historic churches in the country. These churches have survived wars, fires, and countless other challenges throughout the centuries. Here are some of the most notable churches in the City of London:
All Hallows by the Tower
All Hallows by the Tower is the oldest church in the City of London, founded in 675 by Erkenwald, Bishop of London. The church has survived many challenges, including the Great Fire of London and a direct hit by a German bomb during World War II. The current spire and nave are post-war builds, but parts of the church date back to the Normans and even Roman times. Visitors can explore the undercroft to see these ancient parts of the church. All Hallows by the Tower is located at Byward St, London EC3R 5BJ.
Christ Church Newgate
Christ Church Newgate was built in 1224 by Franciscan monks and was likely the tallest church in London at the time. The Great Fire of London destroyed the original structure, and Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to redesign it. The church was hit by a German bomb during World War II and much of it was destroyed. Today, the stones have been left as a monument and the site is home to a flower garden. Christ Church Newgate is located at King Edward St, London EC1A 7BA.
Church of St. Bartholomew the Great
The Church of St. Bartholomew the Great is possibly the oldest site of continuous worship in London. It was founded in 1123 by Rahere, a courtier of Henry I who claimed to have had a prophetic vision telling him to build an Augustinian Priory. The church has survived many challenges and was even used as a blacksmith’s forge, factory, and printing office at various points in its history. The church has since been restored and is now a functioning parish church. It is located at W Smithfield, Barbican, London EC1A 9DS.
St. Stephen Walbrook
The church of St. Stephen Walbrook was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and is known for its stunning dome and use of natural light. The original structure was built on the banks of a small stream that ran through London during its Roman beginnings. The church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London and rebuilt by Wren. The altar piece was designed by Henry Moore. St. Stephen Walbrook is located at 39 Walbrook, London EC4N 8BN.
St. Mary le Bow
St. Mary le Bow was founded in the 11th century by then-Archbishop of Canterbury Lanfranc. The church has been rebuilt several times throughout its history, including by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London. The reconstruction was the second most expensive commission he ever undertook. St. Mary le Bow is also known for its connection to Dick Wittington, who was said to have been led to become Lord Mayor of London by the calling of the church bells. It is located at Cheapside, London EC2V 6AU.
St. Dunstan in the East
St. Dunstan in the East was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and is said to be the church he designed to be most structurally sound. Legend has it that during a particularly strong storm, someone came running to Wren to tell him that his church steeples had been damaged. Wren’s reply was: “Not St. Dunstan’s”. The church was hit by a German bomb during World War II, but the tower survived. Today, the ruins have been turned into a garden. St. Dunstan in the East is located at St Dunstan’s Hill, London EC3R 5DD.
St. Olave’s on Hart Street
St. Olave’s on Hart Street is one of London’s oldest churches, founded in 1056. The original structure was built entirely of wood and was rebuilt in stone in the 1400s. The church is dedicated to the patron saint of Norway, King Olaf II, who fought alongside King Ethelred of the Saxons against the Danish invasion. St. Olave’s survived the Great Fire of London and is said to have been the site where the Great Plague of 1665 began. It is located at 8 Hart St, London EC3R 7NA.
St. Giles Cripplegate
St. Giles Cripplegate is one of the few remaining medieval churches in London and is dedicated to St. Giles, patron saint of the disabled and infirm. The church survived the Great Fire of London but was hit by bombs during the Blitz. The current structure is a faithful reconstruction done from plans drawn up in the 1500s. St. Giles Cripplegate was originally
City of London Churches Practical Information and Map
The City of London is compact enough to visit all the churches in one day. However, visitors who wish to spend more time in each church should plan accordingly. It is important to remember that these are places of worship and should be treated with respect, regardless of one’s religious beliefs. A map of the churches can be found online or obtained from the City of London Information Centre.
More City of London Guides
In addition to the incredible history of the City of London, the best restaurants, and hidden secrets of Temple Bar Gate, there are many more things to do in this vibrant area. Insider guides recommend exploring the iconic St. Paul’s Cathedral, taking a stroll through the picturesque Leadenhall Market, and visiting the Museum of London to learn about the city’s rich past. For those seeking a unique experience, a tour of the historic Tower of London is a must-see attraction.