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A Guide To Historical London - Churches

  • by CavendishLondon
One of our Facebook fans recently told us he was travelling from the US to London for ten days in November and staying at The Cavendish London.

The main reason for his visit it to watch Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House and the remaining time is going to be dedicated to exploring historical London. As he kindly says: "England is flourished with the most extraordinary history."

Inspired by his request we have put together guides on our favourite historical churches, houses and palaces.

We hope you enjoy reading them and if you can suggest any we may have missed please let us know.

First up, churches:

1. Westminster Abbey
was built by Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror was crowned there on Christmas Day 1066.
Entry: £16
Tip: Visit on a Tuesday or Thursday for a tour of the Little Cloister gardens
Tube: Westminster


2. St Paul's Cathedral
was founded in 604 however the present building (the fifth on the site) dates from 1675.
Entry: £15
Tip: Climb the dome
Tube: St Paul's

3. Southwark Cathedral
was founded by St Swithun in 860
Entry: Free
Tip: Join them for regular organ recitals on Monday lunchtimes and recitals on Tuesday afternoons
Tube: London Bridge

4. Temple Church
was built in the 12th century. The name derives from the Order of the Knights Templar, an order established in 1118 for protecting pilgrims.
Entry: £4
Tip: Watch a concert performed by the Temple Singers
Tube: Temple

5. St Mary-Le-Bow Church
in Cheapside was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and used to house the Great Bell of Bow
Entry: Free
Tip: Spot the Bow Bell, the saying goes if you were born within hearing distance you are a true cockney
Tube: St Paul's or Mansion House

6. St Olave's Church
in Hart Street dates from the fifteenth century and survived the Great Fire mainly due to the efforts of the writer Samuel Pepys who lived and worked nearby.
Entry: Free
Tip: St Olave's has a tradition of regular weekly lunchtime recitals of classical music held every Wednesday and Thursday (not August) starting at 1.05pm.
Tube: Tower Hill

7. St Magnus the Martyr
near London Bridge on the north side was founded around 1067 and stood at the foot of the old London Bridge.
Entry: Free
Tip: The bells are rung every Sunday by the Guild of St Magnus at 12:15.
Tube: Monument

8. St Bride, Fleet Street.
There was a church on this site during the time of the Romans. Some believe that St Bridget, an Irish saint, established the first Christian church on the site in the 6th century.
Entry: Free (but do donate to their Inspire! Appeal to restore the spire)
Tip: Look up! Standing 69 metres high it is the 2nd tallest of all Wren's churches with only St Paul's itself having a higher pinnacle.
Tube: Blackfriars
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