London – Christ Church Greyfriars

I haven’t paid much attention to these ruins before, but they have a considerable heritage as they are from a monastic church built in the thirteenth century on what is now Newgate Street. The monastery was dissolved during the Reformation and was turned into a parish church which was given by King Henry VIII to the Mayor of London for the use of the city’s population. This church building was though lost, along with most others in the heart of the city, during the Great Fire of London in 1666. The replacement building was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, but this in turn was unfortunately destroyed in 1940 during the London Blitz.

The few sections of the remaining church still standing were demolished following the end of the Second World War, with the site turned into public gardens. There are some important people who have been buried at this site over the centuries, including Isabella of France (also the Queen of England), Marguerite of France (another Queen of England) and Joan of England (who was the Queen of Scotland). I’m equally confused as to who was Queen of where, but it’s evidence of the importance of the church.

Some of the surviving arches and it’s positive that it was decided to keep this as a public park, rather than shoving up another office block on the site.

The former door into the nave.

The gardens are impressive and before this health scare meant fewer people came into London, I imagine that this was a busy place for those wanting to eat their lunch.

The tower, which was completed in 1704, survived the London Blitz and was restored in 1960.

There are many more photos of how the church used to look at