Friday, 12 December 2014

St Dunstan in the East

There's an old church in London I wanted to see, a church that had ceased to be a church and become something more interesting. It's located in the middle of a block in the City of London, just slightly east of the Monument and Pudding Lane, hidden from the sight of the cars and pedestrians who race by.

It is a church that's suffering seems to have been typical or symbolic of that part of London.
It was built in the early years of Norman rule in England and possibly helped consolidate the power base this far out of Westminster. Over the centuries bits were added to it, bits repaired, until 1666 when a fire starting little more than a block away ripped through it causing considerable damage.

Then, it must still have been a centre of worship for it was repaired and the new toothpick spire added by the illustrious Sir Christopher Wren.


It is beginning to sound like an ill-fated church though, to the extent that it was completely demolished and rebuilt again before it was decimated by bombs in World War II.

While Wren's spire and the two walls surviving, little else did, so  it seemed time to convert it into a public park.
Through the far left window the Shard at London  Bridge is just visible and the sounds of nearby construction threatens to destroy the peace and tranquility expected of such a place.

So now enclosed from the sights of busy City of London, but not the sounds, it is a patch of grass where office workers go to eat their lunch, watched over by a little Robin red-breast as the creepers continue to tangle themselves in the window spaces.

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