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St Dunstan-in-the-East
Current photo of site
Current photo of site

Country United Kingdom
Denomination Roman Catholic, Anglican

St Dunstan-in-the-East was an Anglican church located on St Dunstan's Hill, half way between London Bridge and the Tower of London in the City of London. The church was destroyed in the Second World War[1] and the medieval ruins are now a popular public garden.

Contents

History

The church was built about 1100. It was severely damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Rather than being completely rebuilt, the damaged church was patched up between 1668 and 1671. A steeple, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, was added 30 years later. This was unusual in that Wren designed it in the Gothic style, to match the old church.

By the early 19th century the church was in a very poor state; and it was rebuilt between 1817 and 1821 by David Laing[2], with assistance by William Tite. Wren's steeple was retained in the new building.

The church was severely damaged in the Blitz of 1941, during the Second World War. In the re-organisation of the Anglican Church in London following the War it was decided not to rebuild St Dunstan's, and in 1967 the City of London Corporation decided to turn the ruins of the church into a public garden[3]. This was opened in 1971.

Wren's tower and steeple survived the bombs intact and now house the All Hallows House Foundation, a registered charity that provides core and complementary health services to those who live or work in the City of London, through its trading arm, The Wren Clinic. Of the rest of the church only the north and south walls remain. A lawn and trees have been planted within the ruins and a low fountain sits in the middle of the nave. The gardens are claimed to be the most beautiful public gardens in the City of London.

The church is now comprised within the parish of All Hallows by the Tower and occasional open-air services are held in the church, such as on Palm Sunday prior to a procession to All Hallows by the Tower along St Dunstan's Hill and Great Tower Street. The church ruin was designated a Grade I listed building on 04 January 1950.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ "The Visitors Guide to the City of London Churches" Tucker,T: London, Friends of the City Churches, 2006 ISBN 0955394503
  2. ^ "London:the City Churches” Pevsner,N/Bradley,S New Haven, Yale, 1998 ISBN 0300096550
  3. ^ "The City of London Churches" Betjeman,J Andover, Pikin, 1967 ISBN 0853721122
  4. ^ Images of England — details from listed building database (199522) accessed 23 January 2009

External links

Coordinates: 51°30′34.82″N 0°4′57.80″W / 51.5096722°N 0.082722°W / 51.5096722; -0.082722

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