By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies as provided in our policy.

St Dunstan-in-the-East - Idol Lane, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.581 W 000° 04.964
30U E 702432 N 5710541
Quick Description: The church, that was originally built around 1100, is located between Idol Lane and St Dunstan's Hill to the north of Lower Thames Street. The tower with spire are intact but only the walls remain of the rest of the church.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/10/2015 5:47:23 AM
Waymark Code: WMN77F
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 0

Long Description:

The City of London website gives a brief history of the church:

The Church of St Dunstan was originally built around 1100 and is a Grade I listed building. A new south aisle was added in 1391 and was repaired in 1631. It was severely damaged in 1666 by the Great Fire of London. Rather than being completely built it was patched up. A steeple and tower was added in 1695-1701 by Sir Christopher Wren.

The Church was again severely damaged in the Blitz of 1941. Wren’s tower and steeple survived the bombing. During the re-organisation of the Anglican Church after World war II it was decided not to rebuild St. Dunstan’s.

In 1967 the City of London decided to turn the remains into a public garden, which opened in 1970.

The church is Grade I listed with the entry at the English Heritage website telling us:

Tower, 1698, by Wren. Large, Portland stone structure in gothic style. 3 main stages, Diagonal buttresses rising to octagonal turrets with large finials. Smaller finials between. Stone spire supported on open diagonal arches. Enriched doorways to west and south. North side now obscured by low building. East side rendered where formerly within church. Fine gates and railings to both doorways. Body of church, 1817-18, by David Laing. Destroyed except for walls in World War II. Gothic style with buttresses, traceried windows pinnacles etc. Yellow brick faced externally in Portland stone. North-east vestry. East wall reduced to sill level in centre.

Wikipedia additionally tells us:

St Dunstan-in-the-East was a Church of England parish church on St Dunstan's Hill, half way between London Bridge and the Tower of London in the City of London. The church was largely destroyed in the Second World War and the ruins are now a public garden.

The church was originally built in about 1100. A new south aisle was added in 1391 and the church was repaired in 1631 at a cost of more than £2,400.

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 was added in 1695-1701 to the designs of Sir Christopher Wren. It was built in a gothic style sympathetic to main body of the church, though with heavy string courses of a kind not used in the Middle Ages. It has a needle spire carried on four flying buttresses in the manner of that of St Nicholas in Newcastle. The restored church had wooden carvings by Grinling Gibbons and an organ by Father Smith, which was transferred to the abbey at St Albans in 1818.

In 1817 it was found that the weight of the nave roof had thrust the walls seven inches out of the perpendicular. It was decided to rebuild the church from the level of the arches, but the state of the structure proved so bad that the whole building was taken down. It was rebuilt to a design in the perpendicular style by David Laing (then architect to the Board of Customs) with assistance from William Tite. The foundation stone was laid in November 1817 and the church re-opened for worship in January 1821. Built of Portland stone, with a plaster lierne nave vault, it was 115 feet long and 65 feet wide and could accommodate between six and seven hundred people. The cost of the work was £36,000. Wren's tower was retained in the new building.

The church was severely damaged in the Blitz of 1941. Wren's tower and steeple survived the bombs' impact. Of the rest of the church only the north and south walls remained. In the re-organisation of the Anglican Church in London following the War it was decided not to rebuild St Dunstan's, and in 1967 the City of London Corporation decided to turn the ruins of the church into a public garden, which opened in 1971. A lawn and trees were planted in the ruins, with a low fountain in the middle of the nave. The tower now houses the All Hallows House Foundation.

The parish is now combined with the Benefice 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. The ruin was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950.

Date the Church was built, dedicated or cornerstone laid: 1/1/1100

Age of Church building determined by?: Other reliable source

If denomination of Church is not part of the name, please provide it here: Anglican

If Church is open to the public, please indicate hours: From: 8:00 AM To: 7:00 PM

Street address of Church:
Idol Lane
London, United Kingdom


Primary website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]

Secondary Website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]

If Church holds a weekly worship service and "all are welcome", please give the day of the week: Not listed

Indicate the time that the primary worship service is held. List only one: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
1) A photo of the church is required for visits to a waymark.

2) Please share some comments about your visit.

3) Additional photos are encouraged. If you can have information in addition to that already provided about this church, please share it with us.

Search for...
Geocaching.com Google Map
Google Maps
MapQuest
Bing Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest This Old Church
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
There are no logs for this waymark yet.