The City Churches of Sir Christopher Wren

The City Churches of Sir Christopher Wren

Born on 20 October 1632 in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, Christopher Wren was an English scientist and mathematician and one of Britain's most distinguished architects, best known for the design of many London churches, including St Paul's Cathedral. He was knighted in 1673.

In 1666, the Great Fire of London destroyed much of the medieval city including 88 of it's parish churches. The office of Christopher Wren rebuilt 51 parish churches and St. Paul's Cathedral, but many of the churches were demolished as the population declined in the 19th century and many were destroyed or badly damaged during the Blitz.

Today's walk was a wander around the city visiting 30 of the churches which Christopher Wren's office rebuilt - 13 of these survive in their original form, two were substantially altered before the Blitz, nine were substantially rebuilt after the Blitz and six only have the towers, some with sections of walls remaining.

Distance: around 5 miles.

St. Magnus the Martyr, built 1671-87, but altered after London Bridge was widened in 1762. St. Dustan-in-the-East, built in 1698, rebuilt 1817-21, but destroyed in the Blitz. The ruins are a public garden. St. Mary at Hill, built 1670-76 and altered, 1787-88 and again 1826-1827. St. Margaret Pattens, built 1684-87. St. Peter upon Cornhill, built 1677-84. St. Michael's Cornhill, built 1669-72. All three churches have survived in their original form.

St. Edmund, King and Martyr, built 1670-79. St. Clement Eastcheap, built 1683-87. St. Mary Abchurch, built 1681-86. All three churches have survived in the original form. St. Stephen Walbrook, built 1672-79 and survives in its original form. St. Michael Paternoster Royal, built 1686-94, was damaged during the Blitz and restored in 1966–8. St. James Garlickhythe, built 1676-83 and survives in its original form.

St. Mary Aldermary, built 1679-82 and survives in its original form. St. Mary-le-Bow, built 1670-83, was damaged during the Blitz and reconsecrated in 1964. St. Margaret Lothbury, built 1686-90 and survives in its original form. St. Olave Old Jewry,  built 1670-79. The body of the church was demolished in 1887 and the tower is now part of an office building. St. Lawrence Jewry, built 1670-86, was damaged during the Blitz and restored in 1957. St. Alban's, Wood Street, built 1682-87. The body of the church was destroyed in the Blitz and the tower is now a private dwelling.

St. Anne and St. Agnes, built 1676-87, was damaged in the Blitz and rededicated in 1966. St. Vedast Foster Lane, built 1670-97, was damaged in the Blitz and restored by 1962. St. Paul's Cathedral, built 1675-1711, survives in its original form. Christ Church Greyfriars, built 1677-91, was destroyed in the Blitz. The ruins are now a public garden and the tower is private residence. St. Andrew, Holborn, built 1686-87, was damaged during the Blitz and re-opened in 1961. St. Bride's Church, built 1670-84, was damaged during the Blitz and rededicated in 1957.

St. Martin, Ludgate, built 1677-84,  survives in its original form. St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe, built 1685-95, was damaged during the Blitz and rededicated in 1961. St. Benet Paul's Wharf, built 1677-83, survives in its original form. St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, built 1671-81, was damaged during the Blitz and reconsecrated in 1962. St. Mary Somerset, built 1686-94. The body of the church was demolished in 1871 but, the tower remains and is now surrounded by small garden. St. Augustine Watling Street, built 1680-87, was destroyed in the Blitz and the tower is now part of St. Paul's Cathedral Choir School.

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