Saturday, April 01, 2023

London's Lost Churches

London The Unfinished City
Christchurch Greyfriars Church Garden.

On my many wanders around and through the City of London, I have always been struck by the amount of churches dotted throughout. Occasionally, I have stumbled across the ruins of churches either destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 or bombed via Zeppelin raids of World War I, or the Blitz of World War II.

Some of these ruins have been turned into pocket parks or gardens of remembrance, while others have been lost forever, with, very little to show that they were ever there.

London The Unfinished City
St Mary Aldermanbury Garden.

I soon became intrigued to see if there was a complete list of churches within the City of London that were either still standing, ruined or lost to the ravages of time. 

It didn't take much searching on the internet to discover the website for the 'Lost London Churches Project'. It was here that I discovered that there are 108 churches in the City of London. 

  • 39 Existing Churches
  • 9 Remains of churches
  • 34 Destroyed in the Great Fire and not rebuilt
  • 26 Lost Churches

  • As it turns out there were three waves that brought about the loss of churches in the City of London. Besides the aforementioned Great Fire of 1666 and the World Wars, the Union of Benefices Act of 1860, which had the purpose of combining parishes to free up space for dwellings, brought about the demolition of churches on a scale to rival the Blitz.

    London The Unfinished City
    St Dunstan-in-the-East Church Garden.

    Many of these lost churches have plaques mounted on walls of buildings standing close to, or on the spot, of the now vanished church.

    The website has a wealth of information and you can purchase collectible cards, maps, books and walks and is definitely worth visiting. It also means that I now have more books and collectible cards to purchase and add to my ever-expanding collection.

    London The Unfinished City
    A blue plaque on St James Passage.

    Now, every time that I walk the streets of the City of London I will be keeping a keen eye as I look for these lost churches.

    Lost London Churches Project

    The Lost London Churches Project aims to promote interest in the lost churches and parishes of the City of London through a series of collectible cards, books and maps.

    London The Unfinished City
    A partial map from the Lost London Churches Project booklet.


    1. Hadn't heard of the Union of Benefices Act. So many lost.

      1. The website gives a lot of details of those lost and is well worth visiting.