Churches & Cathedrals in London

Christopher Wren built fifty-one parish churches in the City of London, plus St. Paul’s Cathedral. Only thirty of them are still standing, and the best ones are shown below. We also have a guide to religious events in London. You might like to attend the Evensong service at St. Paul’s and Westminster Abbey.

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Recommendations Craig recommends… I enjoyed the Evensong at St. Paul’s and Westminster Abbey, and the services at Hampton Court and the Tower of London.

All Hallows by the Tower

All Hallows by the Tower is associated with the executions on Tower Hill, and has a piece of early Roman pavement in the crypt.

All Saints’ Church

All Saints’s was built in the 1850s and was an early example of Victorian Gothic architecture. It has the second-highest church spire in London.

Brompton Cemetery

Brompton was one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries built in the 1830s and contains over 35,000 monuments and 205,000 burial spaces.

Brompton Oratory

Brompton Oratory is the second-largest Roman Catholic church in London after Westminster Cathedral, and has a beautiful Baroque-style interior.

Highgate Cemetery

Most people come to see Karl Marx’s tomb in the eastern half of the cemetery, but it’s the huge monuments in the west that are really worth seeing.

Holy Trinity Church

This Anglican parish church was built in the late 19th-century and it’s so wide that it its width even exceeds that of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

St. Andrew Holborn

St. Andrew Holborn was the largest of Christopher Wren’s fifty-one City churches, and has been heavily restored after suffering damage in the Blitz.

St. Bartholomew-the-Great

One of the city’s oldest, dating all the way back to Norman times. You can feel its incredible age as soon as you walk inside.

St. Bride’s

Famous for its three-tiered spire which is said to have inspired a baker to create the first tiered wedding cake, with an interesting museum underneath.

St. Clement Danes

Christopher Wren and James Gibbs rebuilt the original 9th-century church, but only its outer walls and steeple survived the beating it took in the Blitz.

St. Dunstan-in-the-West

Famous for the Giant’s Clock and 16th-century statue of Elizabeth I outside. The crypt is associated with Sweeney Todd.

St. Etheldreda’s

Dating from the reign of Edward I, this is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in the country. It was originally the private chapel of the Bishops of Ely.

St. Giles Cripplegate

This 16th-century church is one of the few to have survived both the Great Fire of London and the Blitz. It is situated inside the concrete Barbican.

St. Giles-in-the-Fields

St. Giles-in-the-Fields is known as the Poets’ Church and has a number of important burials plus a pit of mid-17th century plague victims.

St. Helen’s Bishopsgate

St. Helen’s dates from the 12th-century and somehow managed to survive both the Great Fire of London and the Blitz.

St. James’s Piccadilly

This was the last of Sir Christopher Wren’s London churches. It holds lunchtime music recitals and usually has a small market outside.

St. Lawrence Jewry

Situated next to the Guildhall in the old Jewish quarter of the City, this was rebuilt by Wren after the original burned down in the Great Fire.

St. Magnus the Martyr

This church used to stand at one end of the legendary London Bridge and has a stone from it outside, plus a model of it inside the door.

St. Margaret’s

The parish church of Parliament is next to Westminster Abbey. Samuel Pepys was married here and Sir Walter Raleigh is buried in the yard.

St. Martin-in-the-Fields

The parish church of Buckingham Palace holds regular classical concerts using its own orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

St. Mary-le-Bow

True Cockneys need to be born within earshot of the Bow bells. The bells were said to have turned back Dick Whittington whilst on his way to Highgate.

St. Mary-le-Strand

This beautiful little 18th-century church was James Gibbs’ first commission. It sits in the middle of a busy traffic island on the Strand.

St. Mary Woolnoth

This bizarre looking Anglican church was designed by Hawksmoor – his only City of London church. The original one dated back to Norman times.

St. Michael Paternoster Royal

Lord Mayor of London Dick Whittington is said to be buried somewhere outside, and there’s a stained-glass window of him inside.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Christopher Wren’s masterpiece contains the tombs of Wellington and Nelson in the crypt, and tourists can climb to the top for a view of the skyline.

St. Paul’s Church

Also known as the Actor’s Church, this is situated next-door to Covent Garden’s piazza and was designed by the architect Inigo Jones.

St. Stephen Walbrook

Wildly regarded as Wren’s best City church, this was damaged during the Blitz so they commissioned Henry Moore to design a new altar.

Southwark Cathedral

This rather small cathedral dates from the 14th-century, but its original history stretches all the way back to the early 12th-century.

Temple Church

Temple Church is famously linked with the Knights Templar, and contains stone effigies of eight slumbering knights on the floor of the Round Tower.

Westminster Abbey

Arguably the most historic building in London. Britain’s kings and queens have been crowned and buried inside here for 1,000 years.

Westminster Cathedral

The most important Catholic church in England has a striking Byzantine exterior. Tourists can climb the bell tower for views across London.
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