St Dunstan in the East was a Church of England parish church on St Dunstan’s Hill, between London Bridge and the Tower of London. The church was originally built in the 12th century, but was badly damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Over the following 30 years the damage was patched up, with a new steeple designed by Sir Christopher Wren completing the revamp, in keeping with the original tower.
Having slowly fallen into disrepair, the church was rebuilt again between 1817 and 1821, but the Wren steeple was left untouched in this renovation.
It seems that the church was destined to ruin, with it being severely damaged during the Blitz of World War II. The Wren tower and steeple again survived, but it was decided that the main church was to be left in ruin. In 1971 the shell of the church was opened as a public garden, which it remains to this day.
With vines crawling up the ancient walls and trees sprawling through the gothic archways of the remains, the church is an oasis of tranquility, an escape from the hustle and bustle of the City of London. The gardens are often described as the most beautiful in the City of London, and it’s easy to see why. This unique and peaceful spot is well worth a visit.
Last Updated on 6 July 2022 by Michael