Unwinding in the Ruins of St. Dunstan Church and its Rich History

London Walking Tours
London Tourist Destinations

The churches in the City of London have been a place of solitude for many people. Located on the north of Lower Thames Street are the ruins of the St. Dunstan church. In your London walking tours, you can relax in the grounds of the St. Dunstan Church and enjoy the beautiful gardens. The church was built around 1100, and a south aisle was added to the church in 1391, which was damaged severely in the Great Fire of London.

Sir Christopher Wren was bestowed with the responsibility to renovate and repair the church and the place was patched up rather than rebuilding completely. In the period from 1695 to 1701, the building was patched up and Sir Christopher Wren added a tower and steeple to the church. He added a needle spire to the church and it contained many carvings by the Dutch carver Grinling Gibbons. The works of Gibbons are features in Kensington Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Hampton Court Palace.

The church was in a ruined state in 1817 and was rebuilt in a perpendicular style as per the design by an architect named David Laing. He designed the Custom House and was assisted by William Tite, who later designed the West Norwood Cemetery and the Royal Exchange. Laing redesigned the church, leaving Wren’s tower, as the weight of the roof was pushing the walls out. The new design of Laing was able to accommodate about 700 parishioners.

The redesign of Laing did not last for long as the Second World War bombings of 1941 damaged the church severely, after 120 years. However, the steeple and tower survived the bombings. The heavy bombings destroyed the roof and nave of the church and blew out the beautiful stained glass windows on May 10, 1941.

The London City Corporation decided against rebuilding the church and turned the place into a beautiful public garden. Eventually, the garden was opened to public in 1971. Today, you can find many trees, plants, and a fountain in the garden.

The tower is now home to a well-being foundation. The majestic windows and ruins are now draped with Vitis Coignetiae, Virginia Creeper, and Ornamental Vine. St. Dunstan is located in the southeast corner of London and is just a short walk away from the Tower of London.