“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

London's church still ruined by the Blitz

In a city where land is a scarce commodity it is somewhat surprising to come across a ruined building that is allowed to remain untouched. The building in question is the Grade 1 listed St Dunstan-in-the-East, which can be found just off of Lower Thames Street, a short distance from the Tower of London. Originally constructed around 1100 the church was in use until 1666 when it was extensively damaged during the Great Fire of London. Following the great fire the church was repaired and a tower and steeple designed by Sir Christopher Wren was added. The church continued to remain in use until London fell victim to its second “great fire”, also known as the Blitz! During the Blitz of 1941 the church was unlucky enough to be hit by German bombs and only Wren's tower and steeple, and some of the church’s outer walls survived the carnage.

Now ruined, St Dunstan-in-the-East would cease to be a church and in 1971 the decision was made to turn the ruins into a public garden. What remains is a somewhat eerie and tranquil public space where plant life slowly overgrows the carcass of the former church, and the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city seems worlds away.

St Dunstan-in-the-East, with Sir Christopher Wren's tower and Steeple visible.  

Pictures, London (August 2016).

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