Friday, March 22, 2019

St Dunstan-in-the-East Church & Garden

London The Unfinished City
A panoramic of the Nave.

Friday March 22, 2019.

It was a cool spring Friday morning, as I took to the streets of the Unfinished City, in search of new areas to discover. Pretty soon I found myself on Lower Thames Street, heading eastward.

Since it had been pouring with rain on my last visit to St Dunstan-in-the-East Church Garden, I decided to pop in for a look around. It was perfect timing, because as I arrived a tour guide and his Spanish entourage were leaving, heading off in the direction of the Tower of London, leaving me alone among the ruins.

London The Unfinished City

Obviously, as it was still early spring, many of the flowers had yet to bloom, which gave the ruined church an even more sombre mood, especially with the overcast skies.

Considering where the ruins are located it was remarkably peaceful, even with the traffic zooming past.

Brief History

A church was first built on the site of this garden in Saxon times.

St Dunstan restored the church in 950 AD and was first extended in 1391.
Following the usual wear-and-tear, the next repairs to the building were carried out in 1631.

In 1666 the church was severely damaged, during the Great Fire, requiring a patchwork of repair which was carried out between 1668-1671. It was during this period that Sir Christopher Wren added a tower and steeple, completing it in 1697.

London The Unfinished City

Various other repairs took place throughout the ages, until the church was almost destroyed in 1941, when it was hit by a German bomb during the Blitz.

Following the war, with only the tower of the Wren church remaining, it was decided that the church would not be rebuilt, standing as a ruin until 1967 when the City of London Corporation took it over. 

The garden was laid out and opened to the public in 1971.

The church was designated Grade I listed on January 4, 1950.

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