St. Paul’s Church

St. Paul’s Church, in Covent Garden
St. Paul’s Church map
St. Paul’s Church, Bedford Street, Covent Garden WC2E 9ED
0207 836 5221

Opening times and price

Opening hours:
8.30 AM to 5 PM (Mon–Fri), 9 AM to 1 PM (Sun)
Visiting hours are subject to change
Time required:
A typical visit to St. Paul’s Church lasts 30 mins (approx)

Getting to St. Paul’s Church

Find car parks near St. Paul’s Church
Find minicab firms near St. Paul’s Church
6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 77A, 91, 139, 176
Bus tickets 2019
Charing Cross BKL NRN, Covent Garden PCL, Embankment BKL CRC DSC NRN, Leicester Square NRN PCL
The nearest train station to St. Paul’s Church is Covent Garden
Train tickets 2019
  Oyster tickets 2019
  Travelcard tickets 2019
  Contactless tickets 2019

Due to its close location to Theatre Royal and the Royal Opera House, St. Paul’s church in London’s Covent Garden has become known as the actor’s church.

Covent Garden was not always the pleasant place that you see today – the area was once the site of London’s first leprosy hospital, and it was here that the Great Plague took hold in 1665. When Charles I came to power in 1625 he granted the Earl of Bedford a licence to build, and he hired Inigo Jones to create the piazza.

History of St. Paul’s church

The church was always meant to be an integral part of the piazza, but the Earl didn’t fancy the flash columns and colonnades that dominated the wings – probably due to the extra expense. So he asked Jones for the simplest possible design—no more than a barn—to which Jones replied you shall have the handsomest barn in England.

It was originally designed so that it opened onto the square, but the church men insisted that the altar be placed in its traditional setting – against the east wall. So the front door that you can see outside is actually a fake, and the altar stands behind it.

The actor’s church

Inside you can see some of the plaques and memorials to long-gone thespians – people like Charlie Chaplin and Vivien Leigh. The artist J W Turner also has a plaque here, to mark his baptism in 1775. George Bernard Shaw famously set the opening scene of Pygmalion outside the entrance.

Awful 0% Poor 0% Okay 75% Good 0% Great 25%
  • Be the first person to ask a question

Ask a question about this attraction

Guided tour of Wrens best churches This guided walk will look at the outside of St Pauls Cathedral and at a selection of Christopher Wren's finest City churches
Bachs St. John Passion: Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey will be celebrating Holy Week with a performance of Bach's St John Passion by St James' Baroque
Sunday organ recitals at St Pauls Cathedral Listen to one of the country's finest organists play on the Grand Organ at St Paul's every Sunday
Berliozs Requiem at St. Pauls Cathedral The Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus will be giving a performance of Berlioz's Requiem at St. Paul's Cathedral.
Choral Mass at Hampton Court Palace Attend a Sunday service in one of the country's most beautiful chapels -- Henry VIII's Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace.
Evensong Mass at Westminster Abbey You can enjoy a choral Evensong service at Westminster Abbey, which combines a traditional mass with a choir.
Craig’s review of Highgate Cemetery Is there a nicer place to walk than a graveyard in the rain? I think that the corpses prefer it too -- the sun isn't much fun when you're six-feet under. At least with the rain they get a little taste of the outside world as it comes seeping through the coffin top. It must be the only drink they get all week -- a thimble of dirty rainwater, filtered through the mud. It's not much o… continued
Craig’s review of All Hallows by the Tower If you've ever prayed to God for protection then don't bother. Visit All Hallows by the Tower and witness the destruction that he's rained upon it over the last five hundred years. This church has been wrecked more times than me. The first one dated back to 675 AD, but really came to prominence after William the Conqueror built the Tower of London next-door. When they began executi… continued
Copyright © 2019 London Drum · Contact us · Cookies / Privacy policy · Search / Site map
London city guide