St Dunstan-in-the-East

Infobox church
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denomination = Roman Catholic, Anglican
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address = London
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St Dunstan-in-the-East was an Anglican church located on St Dunstan's Hill, half way between London Bridge and the Tower of London in the City of London. The church was destroyed in the Second World War ["The Visitors Guide to the City of London Churches" Tucker,T: London, Friends of the City Churches, 2006 ISBN 0955394503] and the medieval ruins are now a popular public garden.

History

The church was built about 1100. It was severely damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Rather than being completely rebuilt, the damaged church was patched up between 1668 and 1671. A steeple, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, was added 30 years later. This was unusual in that Wren designed it in the gothic style, to match the old church.

By the early 19th century the church was in a very poor state. It was rebuilt between 1817 and 1821 by David Laing [ "London:the City Churches” Pevsner,N/Bradley,S New Haven, Yale, 1998 ISBN 0300096550] , with assistance by William Tite. Wren's steeple was retained in the new building.

The church was severely damaged in the Blitz of 1941, during the Second World War. In the re-organisation of the Anglican Church in London following the War it was decided not to rebuild St Dunstan's.

In 1967 the City of London Corporation decided to turn the ruins of the church into a public garden [ "The City of London Churches" Betjeman,J Andover, Pikin, 1967 ISBN 0853721122] . This was opened in 1971.

Wren's tower and steeple survived the bombs intact and now house the offices of a small health clinic. Of the rest of the church only the north and south walls remain. A lawn and trees have been planted within the ruins and a low fountain sits in the middle of the nave. The gardens are claimed to be the most beautiful public gardens in the City of London.

The church is now comprised within the parish of All Hallows by the Tower and occasional open-air services are held in the church, such as on Palm Sunday prior to a procession to All Hallows by the Tower along St Dunstan's Hill and Great Tower Street.

ee also

* Anglicanism
* List of churches and cathedrals of London

References

* Mentioned several times in Sara Douglass' "The Troy Game" Series: "Darkwitch Rising" (Book Three); one scene in Sarah Waters' 'The Night Watch' (2006) takes place there.

External links

* [http://www.allhallowsbythetower.org.uk/st_dunstan's_in_the_east.htm Information on St Dunstan]
* [http://www.oldlondonmaps.com/viewspages/0040.html An engraving showing the medieval church and Sir Christopher Wren's spire.]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/sevenwonders/london/city_gardens/ BBC "Hidden gardens of the City" Facts]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • (St.) Dunstan in the East —    On the west side of St. Dunstan s Hill at No. 2 (P.O. Directory). In Tower Ward.    Earliest mention found in records : 1271 2 (Ct. H.W. I. 11).    Other designations : St. Dunstan towards the Tower (ib.). St. Dunstan by the Tower, 15 Ed. I.… …   Dictionary of London

  • Chapel in (St.) Dunstan in the East Churchyard —    There was a chapel upon the charnell in the chirch haue of Seint Dunstan in the Est, mentioned in Arnold s Chronicle, p. 255.    See St. Dunstan in the East, Churchyard …   Dictionary of London

  • (St.) Dunstan in the East, Churchyard —    On the north and south sides of the Church (O.S.). Churchyard of the Church of St. Dunstan in East called Pardon chirchehawe, 1477 (Ct. H.W. ii. 576).    The chapell upon the charnell stood in the chirchhawe of Seint Dunstan in the Est (Arnold …   Dictionary of London

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