The Bombed-Out St Dunstan in The East Church of London

Feb 6, 2016 1 comments

One of London’s best kept secret is a small derelict church, or what remains of it, half way between London Bridge and the Tower of London, known for its green garden and tranquil atmosphere. This medieval Church of St Dunstan was blown to bits during the bombing of London in the Second World War, leaving only two of its walls and the tower and steeple standing. After lying abandoned for 25 years, the city decided to turn the ruins of the church into a public garden. Thanks to the creative planting of wall shrubs and climbers, the ruins are now overgrown with ivy and trees, creating a small but enchanting little place in the heart of London, surrounded by steel and concrete.


Photo credit: Peter Trimming/Flickr

The church was originally built around 1100, and survived unscathed until the Great Fire of London in 1666 that severally damaged the church. The damaged parts were patched up over the next 30 years, and a new steeple was added designed by Christopher Wren, one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. When structural instability was discovered in 1817, 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. Only Wren's tower was retained. The new church was 115 feet long and 65 feet wide and could accommodate between six and seven hundred people.

After the 8-month long air raid over London ended in May 1941, more than one million houses had been turned to rubble. Nearly all of them have been rebuilt, except the Church of St Dunstan, whose ruins are one of the few remaining casualties of the London Blitz.

Now a Grade I listed building, the green oasis of the church is a popular lunchtime retreat for City workers who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the nearby streets. It is especially popular in the summer months as the surrounding ruins help to reflect the heat away and keep the gardens cool.


Photo credit: Mike T/Flickr


Photo credit: Mike T/Flickr


Photo credit: David Fisher/Flickr


Photo credit: Rob Taylor/Flickr


Photo credit: Caacrinolaas/Flickr

Source: Wikipedia /


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