Sunday, 24 March 2019

St. Dunstan-in-the-East Church & Garden

A panoramic of the Nave.
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 just leaving, heading toward the Tower of London, so I had the place to myself.

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

St. Dunstan-in-the-East was originally built in around 1100, and was first extended in 1391.
Following the usual wear-and-tear, the first 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 a tower and steeple were added. These were designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

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 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. It was turned into a public garden, which opened in 1971.

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


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