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  • Canada Gate
    Canada Gate
    by balhannah
  • The Norwegian flag in St Olave´s church.
    The Norwegian flag in St Olave´s church.
    by Regina1965
  • St Olave Hart Street.
    St Olave Hart Street.
    by Regina1965
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    St Bride´s Church - The Cathedral of Fleet Street.

    by Regina1965 Updated Mar 19, 2014

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    St Bride��s church.
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    Favorite thing: St Bride´s Church is world famous and probably one of the oldest churches in London.

    The first stone-walled church on this site dates back to the early sixth century, founded by St Bride/St Bridge. St Bride´s got severely damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and was left in ruins. Nine years later Sir Christopher Wren had rebuilt it. Again it got damaged in 1940 in WWII by German bombs and only the walls were left, the roof was blown off. 17 years passed before it was rebuilt. In the meantime excavation work was carried out and the foundations of all six previous churches were uncovered.

    Amongst the Roman things uncovered was a Roman pavement, which can be seen in the Crypt dating back to ca 43 AD. It is just awesome visiting the Crypt looking at the almost 2000 year old pavement. Thousands of human remains were also found in the Crypt, victims of the Great Plague and the cholera epidemic.

    The church is named after the daughter of an Irish prince, Bride. She was born in 453 and later became a nun and opened a convent in Kildare with 7 other nuns, which became a centre of learning. Bride was regarded as a saint while she was still alive and was known for her holiness throughout Christian Europe.

    The spire of St Bride´s is in the form of a wedding-cake spire. It is 96 meters high and the second highest of Wren´s churches, only St Paul´s has got a higher spire.

    St Bride´s church has been the church of the journalists and newspaper since 1500.

    There are lunchtime recitals are on Tuesdays and Fridays at 13:15 throughout the year. They last for 30 minutes and are free of charge.

    The church is a Grade I listed building.

    Fondest memory: Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 09:00-18:00. Saturday: hours vary. Sunday: 10:00-18:30.

    Address: Fleet St, London EC4Y 8AU.

    Telephone no: +44 20 7427 0133

    Tube: St Paul´s and Blackfriars.

    Bride´s church is off Fleet Street by Bride Lane.

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    St Mary Abchurch in the City of London

    by Regina1965 Updated Mar 18, 2014
    The extraordinary beautiful ceiling.
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    Favorite thing: St Mary Abchurch is one of the old churches in the City of London. St Mary Abchurch dates back to the 12th century. It was restored in 1611 only to be destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666, like so many of the City churches. Some of the churches in the City of London were rebuilt after the fire and St Mary Abchurch was one of the restored churches, making it a Sir Christopher Wren church. It was rebuilt from 1681-1686.

    During the Blitz in WWII the church was hit by a bomb and the dome and the reredos were severely damaged. Again the church was repaired.

    The dome painting in the ceiling in the church is extraordinary beautiful. It was made in 1708. It depicts a choir of angels and cherubs and the name of God in Hebrew letter is written in the middle. There are 4 windows in the dome. I was so fascinated by it that I couldn´t stop staring at it and taking photos.

    The reredos by Grinlings Giddons are unique. They are the largest reredos and the only authenticated work of Giddons, apart from the one in St Paul´s Cathedral.

    St Mary Abchurch was without an organ until 1822, but that organ got damaged during the WWII bombs. The organ in the church dates back to 1950´s, made out of the organ casing from 1717, which was once in All Hallows church.

    St Mary Abchurch is a Grade I listed building from 1950.

    Fondest memory: In 1952 St Mary Abchurch ceased to be a parish church and the congregation was moved to St Stephen´s Walbrook.

    The Friends of the City Churces keep the church open on Mondays from 11:00-14:00. I mainly visited the City Churches when the FCC were present as they possess so much knowledge on the City churches.

    On every Tuesday at 12:30 there is an organ recital free of charge.

    The address of St Mary Abchurch is Abchurch Ln, London EC4N 7BA. By Abchurch Yard off Cannon Street.

    Phone number: 44 20 7626 4481

    Tube: Cannon Street.

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    Westminster Abbey of the City of London.

    by Regina1965 Updated Mar 18, 2014

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    The Monument of Sir John Spencer 1609.
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    Favorite thing: St. Helen´s Bishopsgate church in the City of London has been called the Westminster Abbey of the City of London. It is a beautiful church with such rich history. It was one of the last churches I visited in the City as it is kind of difficult to get into it - or so I thought. I had walked past this church for a decade without knowing anything about it. It is located west of the Gherkin, just across the street, and looking at this old church and the very modern Gherkin behind it always make me contemplate on how vast a difference there is in architecture now and way back when the church was built.

    I could not find out where the entrance was and thought it might be used for offices only and thus closed to the public, but found out that it was open for the City Workers on Sundays and on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a lunch-time service. Then I found out that the church was open to visitors on Mondays-Fridays from 09:30-12:30. The entrance is on the east side of the church and I had to ring a bell to get in. The main entrance to the church is on the west side of the church - dating back to ca 1300. Coming from Iceland, where we don´t have old buildings, it amazes me how old this church is here in the middle of the City.

    I got there a little early to check out the church and to my surprise the church got almost filled with people - the workers in the City of London. I must say that this was the "friendliest" church I visited in the City and I did not sit alone there. After the lunch-time talk people had lunch in the church and I got to know some people there. Very lovely and if the opportunity arises I will go there again for a lunch-time talk.

    The address of the church is: Great St Helen's, London EC3A 6AT. Tube: Liverpool Street and Bank.

    Fondest memory: The priory church of St. Helen of the Benedictine Order was here on this site when in 1210 a nunnery was built beside the church. That church dates back at least to 1140-1160. A new church was built for the nuns next to St. Helen´s church. The two churches have been linked together since 1543 making up what today is St. Helen´s Bishopsgate.

    I will add a special tip on the Nuns´ Quire as there are so many interesting monuments there.

    St. Helen´s is one of the few churches in the City which survived the Great Fire of London in 1666 and the Bishopsgate Fire only a century later in 1765. Neither did it get damaged in WWI and WWII. But the IRA bombs in 1992 and 1993 in the City severely damaged St. Helen´s and some other churches in this area, and the church had to be completely restored in 1994-1995 :( The floor was lifted to it´s medieval level, so that under floor heating could be added. One can see the former floor-level by the monument of Sir John Spencer (1609), who was Lord Mayor of London from 1594-1595.

    There are big arches in the church, which date back to 1480, which didn´t get destroyed by the bombs.

    I am interested in the sword-rests in the City churches and found a rare wooden sword-rest in St. Helen´s Bishopsgate with the date 1665 - the year of the Plague. It was the sword rest of Sir John Lawrence, who was Lord Mayor of the City of London in 1664-1665.

    There is also a very beautiful pulpit in the church, it is very decorative, made of wood in ca 1615 - a masterpiece. The noted John Wesley and George Whitefield preached from this pulpit on their visits to the church. I wish I could add more photos here, I just couldn´t stop taking photos in this remarkable church.

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    St Katharine Cree guild church in the City

    by Regina1965 Updated Mar 17, 2014

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    St Katharine Cree church
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    Favorite thing: St Katharine Cree church is one of the old churches in the City of London. It dates back to 1280, but the current church is also very old, the consecration of the church took place in 1631. The tower is the oldest remaining part of the church, dating back to 1504.

    Luckily enough St Katharina Cree escaped the Great Fire of London in 1666, when so many of the City churches were devoured by this roaring fire. The church also escaped major damages in the Blitz in WWII. But seeing that it is an old church it was restored in 1962. St Katharina Cree is the only Jacobean (the 2nd part of the Renaissance architecture) church left in London.

    The strange name Cree is an abbreviation of Christ Church from back when the church was Catholic. It is now an Anglican church.

    I love stained glass windows and there is an extraordinary beautiful stained glass rose window in St Katharine Cree. The church ceiling is breathtaking with the light blue colour and the Corinthian columns. it is just pure delight visiting this church. The story behind rose windows or Catherine windows is very sad, so I will skip writing it here.

    Both Handel and Purcell played on the church organ, which in parts dates back to the 17th century.

    St Katharine Cree is now a guild church, meaning that it has got no parish and hasn´t got services on Sundays. Instead a Syrian Orthodox church worships here every Sunday.

    Seven churches in the City were changed into guild churches by Act of Parliament in 1950, instead of being closed down.

    This church is known as the church that is dedicated to the workforce in commerce, industry and finance. The Square Mile is a proper place for doing so.

    The same rector serves in both St Katharine Cree and St Olave Hart Street.

    The church is a Grade I listed building.

    Fondest memory: Address: 86 Leadenhall St, London EC3A 3BP

    Telephone no: 020 7488 4318

    The church is located on the north side of Leadenhall Market.

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    A Bedouin tent in the City of London

    by Regina1965 Updated Mar 17, 2014

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    The Tent.
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    Favorite thing: St Ethelburga Bishopsgate is one of the old City churches. It got badly damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666, in the Blitz in WWII and by an IRA terrorist bomb in 1993.

    The church got restored to a point and now the St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace operates in the church. The organisation is is a non-profit charity which aims to build relationships across divisions of conflict, culture and religion, as it says on their homepage. Their goal is to bring people together, what ever their religion is and they run a multi-faith programme where faith leaders of all religions work together against conflict.

    They run training workshops and dialogue programmes which are attended by more than 8.000 people a year.

    In the lovely garden behind the church one can find a Bedouin tent. It came as a surprise to me when I was on my quest of visiting all the old City churches to find a Bedouin tent in the middle of the busy City of London. The garden is called the peace garden. There is an olive tree (sign of peace) and a Lebanese fountain in this wonderful little garden.

    The Bedouin tent, which has 16 sides, was made in Saudi-Arabia with traditional Bedouin techniques and woven in goat´s hair. It was a gift from Mohammed Jameel.

    I love the design of the Tent. An expert in sacred geometry, Professor Keith, was asked to design it - without using religious symbols so that people of every religion could feel at ease in the Tent. He came up with this idea based on the traditions of Al-Andalus in Spain back in the Middle Ages. Back then Christians, Muslims and Jews lived in peace and harmony for over 300 years. We need to get that peace and harmony back.

    I visited the church while a member of the Friends of the City Churches was on duty, as it were, and he showed me the Tent and told me to have a peek inside, because nobody was in the garden.

    Inside there are carpets which are woven in places of the world, where there is conflict and wars.

    Written on the windows of the Tent is "peace" in 7 languages plus signs of peace, growth and reconciliation.

    In the St Ethelburga church and in the Tent people of all religions can find a haven, a safe place to meet up and talk in a spirit of respect and friendship.

    The Tent was opened on the 4th of May 2006 by the HRH Prince of Wales.

    Fondest memory: St Ethelburga is located at 78 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AG in the City of London. Telephone no: 020 7496 1610.

    At St Ethelburga there are regularly held live world music events, films and art exhibitions. There are weekly concerts on Friday nights, where musicians, dancers and poets from places of conflict in the world share their culture with people of other religions and beliefs.

    Places like these I regard as the hidden gems in London.

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    St Ethelburga Bishopsgate church.

    by Regina1965 Updated Mar 17, 2014

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    St Ethelburga Bishopsgate church.
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    Favorite thing: St Ethelburga Bishopsgate is one of the old City churches.

    The first records of this medieval church are from 1250, but since then it has been through a lot. It was rebuilt in ca 1411 and then got severely damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666, like so many other churches in the City of London.

    In 1932 it underwent major changes and then got partly damaged during WWII during the Blitz. It was restored in 1953 only to be nearly destroyed in a terrorist IRA bomb, Bishopsgate bombing, on 24th of April 1993. Instead of demolishing this old church, like so many wanted to do, it was partially restored, with major interior changes.

    On the inside it still looks like a church, but one of the walls with beautiful arches is open into a new glass building. If one walks into the corridor of the other building it will lead you into the garden behind the church.

    There is a lovely garden with statues and a bedouin tent. I am going to add another tip on the St Ethelburga´s centre for reconciliation and peace, which operates at St Ethelburga´s church now.

    Fondest memory: St Ethelburga is a Grade I listed building.

    St Ethelburga is located at 78 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AG in the City of London. Telephone no: 020 7496 1610.

    Tube: Liverpool street station or Aldgate.

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    St Olave Hart street church.

    by Regina1965 Updated Feb 10, 2014

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    St Olave church
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    Favorite thing: St Olave church in the City of London was of special interest to me as I knew it had Norwegian ties. I had a hard time finding it at first so it was one of the last churches I visited during my search for the City churches.

    St Olave church belongs to Church of England.

    St. Olave was first mentioned in the 13th century, but a church has been on this side since the 11th century. It was rebuilt in the 13th century and in the 15th century. The present building dates from around 1450.

    When the Great Fire of London destroyed so many churches in 1666 fortunately St Olave escaped the fire and luckily so, as only very few of the medieval churches in the City survived the fire. It was saved from the fires by blowing up of houses in the neighbourhood so that the fire wouldn´t devour the church. Then the wind changed directions. I have written about more medieval churches which were saved due to the wind changing directions.

    During the bombings in WW2 the church was severely damaged, but it was restored in 1954.

    St Olave is also the Ward church of the Tower Ward.

    Now the church is Grade I listed.

    St Olave is dedicated to the canonised King Olaf II, who is the patron saint of Norway. He fought with the British in 1014 against the Danes in the Battle of London Bridge. The church was built on the site of the battle.

    In WW2 the Norwegian King Haakon VII was in exile in England and worshipped in this church.

    Fondest memory: Every Monday and Thursday there is a free concert at Saint Olave church. I visited it once during a concert and it was so lovely.

    The address of Saint Olavs is: 8 Hart Street, London EC3R 7NB, United Kingdom. Between Fenchurch Street Station and the Trinity Square gardens.

    Opening hours of the church: weekdays from 09-17, closed in August.

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    St. Bartholomew the Less church.

    by Regina1965 Updated Jun 5, 2013

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    St. Bartholomew the Less.
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    Favorite thing: St. Bartholomew the Less church has been the hospital parish church of St. Bartholomew´s Hospital in West-Smithfield since 1547. St. Bartholomew´s Hospital is the only hospital in England with its own parish. The church is open to visitors and patients of the hospital. It is located just inside the walls to the hospital and the entrance is through Henry VIII gate.

    St. Bartholomew the Less is a small, lovely bright church with a beautiful star-shaped 18th century ceiling, and beautiful stained glass windows. One of which is dedicated to the surgeons and physicians from St. Bartholomew´s Hospital, who gave their lives in the line of duty during WWII.

    The oldest part of the church, the west wall and the mediaeval tower, date back to the 15th century. The oldest chapel on this site, the Chapel of the Holy Cross, dated back to 1123 and was moved to here in 1184.

    St. Bartholomew the Less had a narrow escape from the Great Fire of London in 1666 as did St. Bartholomew the Great. The fire stopped just down the street by the Golden Boy on Pye Corner so one can see how close both churches were to burn down. But then came the Blitz and its bombs in WWII which damaged the church, but it was opened again in 1951.

    Fondest memory: First time I visited the church was closed, so I thought it was not open to the public. Then I noticed that Roman Catholic services were being advertised in the church, even though the church is Anglican, so I planned on going to a service so I could have a look inside. The FCC (Friends of the City Churches) put me right and told me that it was usually open to visitors, so I popped into the church every time I visited the West-Smithfield area. The church gives one more of a feeling of being inside a chapel than being inside a church, maybe because if its shape.

    What I found lovely is that by the entrance to the church is a poster with 9 religious signs and the question: "Would you like to speak to a chaplain?" so they serve not only to Christians.

    Opening hours: Sundays-Thursdays from 10:00-15:00.

    Address: West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE

    Just opposite St. Bartholomew the Less is the old church St. Bartholomew the Great with the street Little Britain in between them.

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    Join the National Trust for amazing places to see

    by angiebabe Updated Jun 1, 2013

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    The National Trust Emblem
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    Favorite thing: I was a member of the affiliated organisation in Australia so when I came here I was able to use my membership to visit excellent places/buildings/treasures found in locations all over the UK maintained by this wonderful organisation.

    Many wonderful stately homes, historic homes and sites have been bequeathed by people or families to ensure better care or just to stay in a national organisation that will use the property for the general public to enjoy. Membership costs about £43 a year which covers entrance fees to all places and free car parking and goes towards the funds needed to keep this organisation and also acquire properties if an opportunity comes onto the market. This fee is well worthwhile for such an excellent organisation that has such a vast array of properites in its holding and such a range of historic and special places to visit.

    An excellent guidebook of all its properties, many shown in colour photographs, is published and mailed out each year with all the information you will need - opening times, special exhibitions or garden seasons, transportation and access.

    Ive visited excellent places around the London area - Winston Churchill's home at Chartwell, Scotney Castle, Igtham Mote, Sheffield Park Gardens, Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens, Mottinsfont Abbey - with the most beautiful rose garden Ive ever seen!, and the list goes on.

    www.nationaltrust.org.uk

    Fondest memory: https://join.nationaltrust.org.uk/join/start?campid=PPC_Membership_Google_Membership

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

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    British Museum - Best Museum of Antiquities in EU.

    by breughel Updated May 3, 2013

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    British Museum - Nerreid Monument.

    Favorite thing: British Museum and Le Louvre are for me the best European museums of Antiquities.

    My preferred museums of Antiquities in Europe are the following:
    Under Antiquities I mean here Roman, Greek, Egyptian and Near Eastern artefacts.

    Multidepartment Museums:
    Le Louvre, Paris.
    British Museum, London.
    Museumsinsel Berlin (Museum Island) with various museums like the Altes Museum, the Pergamon Museum and the Egyptian Museum

    Greek and Roman antiquities:

    Capitoline Museum and the two Museo Nazionale Romano (Palazzo Altemps and Palazzo Massimo), Rome.
    National Archaeological Museum and Acropolis Museum, Athens.
    Vatican Museum, Rome.

    Egyptian Antiquities:

    Museo Egizio (Egyptian museum), Turin.
    And Egyptian departments of Le Louvre, British Museum and Berlin Island museum (one of the best in Europe).

    Of course there are others like Vienna's KHM, Olympia, Leiden, Brussels, etc., etc. but if you have time to visit my favoured ones you will already feel a happy cultured traveller.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Archeology
    • Museum Visits

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    St. Bartholomew the Great - the oldest church.

    by Regina1965 Updated Apr 28, 2013

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    St. Bartholomew the Great.
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    Favorite thing: St. Bartholomew the Great is London´s oldest surviving parish church. I don´t like paying for visiting churches, but since I was visiting all the City churches I paid the small fee of GBP 4 to visit St. Bartholomew the Great. It was so worth it, it is a beautiful church with a long history.

    St. Bartholomew the Great or the Priory Church was established in 1123 by Prior Rahere as an Augustinian priory. He was the founder of the Priory and the St. Bartholomew Hospital, opposite the street from the church. His tomb is by the High altar of the church with an effigy dressed as an Augustinian canon. Prior Rahere was also a courtier to King Henry I. St. Bartholomew the Great is known for its curative powers - dating back to when Prior Rahere went on a pilgrimage to Rome and caught a fever. He made a vow that he would build a hospital for the poor if he got better. He recovered and on his way back St. Bartholomew (one of the apostles) appeared to him with a message that he should build a church on this exact spot. People visit the church to get healed and on St. Bartholomew day - the 24th of August - sick people flock to the church.

    In 1539 under the law of Henry VIII the church was dissolved and half of it was demolished.

    St. Bartholomew the Great escaped, as it were, the Great Fire of London in 1666 and both WW1 and WW2 - amazing really as so many of the City churches got hit hard by the Fire and the World Wars.

    The known William Hogarth was baptised in the church in 1697 in one of two pre-Reformation fonts, which still exist, dating back to 1405.

    There are several tombs and memorials in the church, the tomb of Sir Walter and Lady Mary Mildmay, the monument of Percival and Agnes Smallpace, the monument to John and Margaret Whiting and the monument to Sir Robert Chamberlayne dating back to 1615.

    The woodwork in the west side of the church is so beautiful - above it is the organ. In front is the the Great Lectern, which is made out of ancient timber from the old Lady Chapel.

    Fondest memory: There is a chapel in the church called the Lady Chapel, dedicated to Mary. It has an interesting history as for centuries it was used for other purposes than a chapel - from 1539-1880 it was used as a house - a printery in which Benjamin Franklin worked - and finally as a lace factory. From 1896 it has been used exclusively as a chapel. There is a lovely painting of Madonna and Child from 1998 in the chapel. I just couldn´t tear myself away from it :)

    St. Bartholomew the Great has been a film location for various popular films, such as Four Weddings and a Funeral (the 4th wedding was filmed here), Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare in Love, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Amazing Grace, The Other Boleyn Girl, Jude, Elizabeth: The Golden Age - and The End of Affair.

    St. Bartholomew the Great is located in West-Smithfield in the City of London next to the St. Bartholomew Hospital and St. Bartholomew the Less church. Opposite the street is Smithfields Meat Market. If you look up the street "Little Britain" then it is next to the church. It is kind of hidden away, as the entrance to the church was changed and it looks like a fairytale house, or something out of a Dicken´s tale. This house is what attracted me to have a further look - I had no idea that there was such a remarkable church here.

    A highly recommended visit.

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    St. Helen´s - the Nuns´ Quire & South Transept.

    by Regina1965 Updated Apr 19, 2013

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    The tomb of Sir William Pickering 1574.
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    Favorite thing: In 1210 a nunnery was built beside the priory church of St. Helen of the Benedictine Order. A new church was built for the nuns next to St. Helen´s church. The two churches have been linked together since 1543 making up what today is St. Helen´s Bishopsgate in the City of London. Due to its rich history this church has been called the Westminster Abbey of the City.

    There is nothing left of the convent though since 1799. In 1538 the nunnery was given to Sir Thomas Wyllyams (Cromwell) and the nuns were given money to leave. 5 years later the nunnery became the property of the Leathersellers´ Company.

    There is a big window in the Nuns´ Qiure, which was completely destroyed by the IRA bomb in 1992. A new window was given to the church in 1996.

    There are many tombs and monuments in this part of the church. One of them is the Tomb of Sir William Pickering 1574, who was the ambassador of Spain when Elizabeth I was queen. It came as a surprise to me how many effigies there are in the church.

    In the Nuns´ Quire is also the Tomb of Sir Thomas Gresham 1579, the founder of the Royal Exchange and the Gresham Institution - it is without an effigy.

    Fondest memory: There is a beautiful wooden oak chancel screen which seperates the South Transept from the body of the church. It adds so much character to the church - it is so ornate.

    Other tombs here are the Tomb of Sir John and Lady Crosby. John Crosby built Crosby Place and donated money to the church and it is thought that the 4 big arches in the church were paid for out of his donation. And the tomb of John de Oteswich and his wife, dating back to the late 14th century, from the St. Martin Outwich church, like so many other monuments in St. Helen´s Bishopsgate.

    A highly recommended visit when in the City of London.

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    The Garden and Courtyard of St. James´s Piccadilly

    by Regina1965 Updated Apr 11, 2013

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    Rodt is the name of this strange deer statue.
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    Favorite thing: There is a lovely garden by St. James´s Piccadilly Church. It is a former graveyard, referred to until 1945 as the "green graveyard", but has not been in use as as a graveyard since 1853.

    On a stone by the entrance to the garden is written: "The garden on this bomb damaged site was given by Viscount Southwood to commemorate the courage and fortitude of the people of London in the second World War 1939-1945". During the war there were air-rade shelters in the garden for civilians.

    Fondest memory: There are several statues on display (contemporary culture) in the garden and a fountain with such lovely chubby cherubs and angry looking dolphins. The fountain is Grade II listed and is in commemoration of Viscount Southwood, who is mentioned here above. Close by the fountain is another lovely statue called "Peace".

    It is lovely sitting here in the garden, I did that often when I was studying here back in 1987. It is so sheltered and peaceful.

    My favourite café is by the garden "Café Nero" connected with the church, a lovely café.

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    St. James´s Church Piccadilly.

    by Regina1965 Updated Apr 11, 2013

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    Inside St. James��s Church Piccadilly.
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    Favorite thing: St. James´s Church Piccadilly is one of Sir Christopher Wren´s churches, which he built after the Great Fire of London in 1666. It is in a strange place though, as all the other churches built by Wren are in the City of London, this church is the only one outside of the City. Hernry Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans, owned this land, where the church now stands, and chose Wren as an architect for the church. Earl Jermyn, also built St. James´s Square and the streets in that area, which is now the center of London.

    True to Wren´s church design it is a beautiful, bright, spacious ornate church, consecrated in 1684. Grinling Gibbons is the master of the woodwork and the beautiful altar in the church. He also made the exquisite marble font with Adam and Eve and the tree of life. The well known poet, William Blake, was baptised in the font.

    The church was badly damaged by bombs in the Blitz in 1940. The organ, the Reredos and the Font escaped damage. Restoration was finished in 1954.

    Four ministers of St. James´s Church Piccadilly have become Archbishops of Canterbury.

    Fondest memory: I visited this church several times, and it was more than often filled with sleeping homeless people. It is a good thing that they can have a shelter in a church, especially during the winter time. It was very cold in the church as well, though. It was difficult taking photos in the church with so many people sleeping there, so I have only a handful of usable photos.

    There are free recitals in the church three times a week at lunchtime, on Mondays, Wednesday and Friday.

    Outside the church is the well known Piccadilly Market. There is also a graveyard by the church, on which I am going to add another tip.

    The address of the church is: 197 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LL and it is located on Piccadilly, the closest tube being Piccadilly Circus.

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    Friends of the City Churches - FCC.

    by Regina1965 Updated Apr 10, 2013

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    Favorite thing: Friends of the City Churches - FCC is a group of over 100 wonderful people, who keep the old City of London´s 16 "threatened" churces open on certain dates. The FCC proved very helpful and knowledgeable on the City Churches and I am ever so grateful to them for keeping these old churches open to visitors - without them I would not have seen some remarkable churches in the City of London. If I were ever to live in London I would join this group.

    On my stay in London in 2012-2013 my goal was to visit all or most of the City churches. But I noticed that many of them were closed. In one church I found a leaflet and discovered that the Friends of the City Churches keep many of them open on a certain date. On that day they put a sign out in front of the church - the Church Watchers are here today - open. I made many trips down to the City to visit the churches. Many of the churches are open to visitors every day, but the FCC keep the following churches open from 11:00-15:00 on these days:

    Mondays - St. Martin Ludgate, St. Mary Abchurch.

    Tuesdays - St. Dunstan in the West, St. Botolph Aldgate and from 13:45-16:00 St. Botolph Aldersgate. On the 2nd and 4th Tuesday the Dutch Church Austin Friars is open.

    Wednesdays - St. Mary Aldermary (it is open every day as there is a café in the church, but I guess the FCC are there on Wednesdays), St. Sepulchre Newgate, St. Stephen Walbrook. From 12:00-16:00 St. Magnus the Martyr.

    Thursdays - St. James Garlickhythe, St. Benet Paul´s Wharf (open from late March as it is too cold inside), St. Mary at Hill.

    Fridays - All Hallows London Wall (closed until further notice in 2013), St. Ethelburga Centre, St. Andrew by the Wardrobe.

    Fondest memory: I also got hold of - in a church - the leaflet "City Events", published by the FCC. In there one can find out all the services held on any certain day in the City Churches - and there are so many services, masses, bible studies, organ recitals, free concerts etc held every day in one or many of the churches. The leaflet - published every month - proved extremely helpful. I attended many of the services and concerts, of which I wouldn´t have known if it weren´t for the leaflet.

    Kudos to the Friends of the City Churches - God bless!

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