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Following the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666, there were 75 churches within the Square Mile. The bombing of World War II and the movement of population out of London into the spreading suburbs have reduced that number. There are now 39 Anglican churches, all listed either Grade I or Grade II*. 

City Churches 1 2

St Martin Within Ludgate

Mostly rebuilt by 1680 after the Great Fire, but not finished until 1703, this was the least damaged of all the city churches in WWII. Sir William Penn, whose son founded Pennsylvania, was married here in 1643. The Double Churchwardens Chair has initials from 1690.
Ludgate Hill EC4
Tube: St Paul’s
www.stmartin-within-ludgate.org.uk

St Michael Paternoster Royal

Long associated with Dick Whittington, four times Lord Mayor, the church was destroyed in the Great Fire and again in WWII, being restored in 1968. College Hill was once called Paternoster Lane, from the sellers of paternosters (rosary beads) who lived there. It is the home of The Mission to Seafarers.
College Hill EC4
Tube: Cannon Street

St Magnus the Martyr

A model of Old London Bridge - with houses and 900 people (look for the one modern policeman) - is a quirky attraction in this church, plain on the outside but ornate inside. One of the first buildings destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, it was rebuilt by Wren in 1676.
Lower Thames Street EC3
Tube: Monument
www.stmagnusmartyr.org.uk

St Stephen Walbrook

As Wren's own parish church (he lived at No. 15 Walbrook), this is often thought his finest work with a dome that rivals St Paul’s. Started in 1672, it opened for worship in 1679. The altar was sculpted by Henry Moore for the vicar Chad Varah, who founded The Samaritans here in 1953.
Walbrook EC4
Tube: Bank
ststephenwalbrook.net

St Nicholas Cole Abbey

A gilded three-masted ship tops off the spire of this Wren-designed church. ‘Cole Abbey’ comes from ‘coldharbour’ - a medieval word for a shelter for travellers. Bombed in 1941, it was only rebuilt in 1962, the ruined shell appearing in the 1951 Ealing Comedy, The Lavender Hill Mob.

114 Queen Victoria Street EC4
Tube: Mansion House

All Hallows by The Tower

The first church on this site was a Saxon one in 675. Almost destroyed during WWII, it was restored in 1957. William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, was baptised here in 1644 and John Quincy Adams, sixth US president, was married in the church in 1797.

Byward Street EC3
Tube: Tower Hill
www.allhallowsbythetower.org.uk

Any comments - or a suggestion for a London secret? Please e-mail me.

St Lawrence Jewry

One of the most expensive of Wren's City Churches dates to 1687 and is the official church of the Corporation of London. St Lawrence was martyred on a fire, hence the gridiron weathervane. The splendid interior is dominated by an organ which is played in regular concerts.

Gresham Street EC2
Tube: St Paul’s
www.slj.btik.com

St Clement Eastcheap

Dedicated to the patron saint of sailors, this church was close to the river wharves of old London. Rebuilt in 1680, by Wren, it was refurbished in 1872 when stained glass was put in and the galleries removed. The C17th altar, reredos and pulpit are noteworthy as is the ornate font cover hiding a dove.

Clement's Lane EC4
Tube: London Bridge

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