City Spires & Towers #7

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The last City Spires and Towers post was published in June 2017. The next has been largely done, however in the meantime here’s one with a focus on some of the City’s churches at night time.
There is no particular order or grouping of the churches as there has been with past posts. And there are a number of churches that have not been covered before. Originally this was going to be a special post featuring St Augustine’s Watling Street, which is right in the shadow of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
However my efforts to do some pictures showing some before/after views was thwarted when I found the grandstands outside the cathedral had been built for this coming weekend’s Lord Mayors show, so the completion of that particular post has been put aside for the moment.
In short that is how this post featuring City’s institutions at night (it was early evening to be honest) was conceived. We start with St Paul’s and St Augustine’s and then work our way eastwards to Leadenhall and north to Liverpool Street.
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St Augustine’s with St Paul’s.
St Paul’s cathedral is excellently floodlit, however it puts St Augustine’s in the pale. I think this should be remedied and the smaller church spire has some form of lighting to remedy the imbalance.
St Augustine’s, like several of the City’s churches, was bombed in the war, leaving just the spire. When one considers how close this church is to St Paul’s it is certainly amazing London’s famous cathedral never once received a direct hit from the Luftwaffe.
Its not evident these days, however St Augustine’s used to be on the road opposite St Paul’s. In fact there were two roads, between the two, the first was St Paul’s Church Yard and then Old Change. The redevelopment of the area in the fifties saw both institutions linked by a new park called Festival Gardens. This was of course created as part of the Festival of Britain 1951.
The next five churches have not been featured in City Spires and Towers before, although they are due to be discussed at some point.
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St Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside.
St Mary-le-Bow, famous for the Bow Bells, is another church that has relatively little intrusion from skyscrapers, although several of the prominent ones can be seen in the direction of Bank. Its proximity to St Paul’s Cathedral has ensured the height of much modern development about here has kept a lower maximum, although one must point out the church does indeed suffer from severe visual intrusion of many of the City’s skyscrapers (as St Pauls’s does too) when viewed from certain viewpoints on the other side of the River Thames.
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Bank junction, with Tower 42 ahead and St Mary Woolnoth at far right.
St Mary Woolnoth is a church with a different look to most of the others. It was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and the only one in the City that has what could be considered direct access to the tube! Although its immediate environment is currently clear of skyscrapers, The Walkie Talkie and Tower 42 are visible and there are some other new towers going up hence the present situation wont last too long.
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Bank tube station entrance and St Mary Woolnoth. The Walkie Talkie’s visible in the background.
St Edmund’s Church in Lombard Street, London’s ‘Wall Street’, has The Walkie Talkie as the dominant skyscraper. Immediately opposite there’s a new development underway,and as this is a narrow street its going to be an area that’s pretty crowded. Number 30 is not a skyscraper however its somewhat taller than the present buildings on either side of St Edmund’s.
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St Edmund’s with the Walkie Talkie. This is the first post featuring this church.
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St Michael with part of Tower 42 visible. This is a popular spot for after work drinks!
North of St Edmund’s are St Michael and St Peter’s in Cornhill which have not been covered previously. Despite their proximity to many of the City’s tallest skyscrapers, these two churches are most fortunate their presence is not compromised by any of these towers as yet. Its hard to find a skyscraper that overlooks these two however the tops of Tower 42 and the Walkie Talkie can be seen if one looks hard enough.
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St Michael and The Jamaica Wine House.
The area is of course famous for the Jamaica Wine House, which was originally the first coffee house in London and used by Samuel Pepys. The current building is from the 19th century.
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St Peter’s in Cornhill – its spire only just visible! The tower behind is part of 20 Gracechurch St
On the other side of Leadenhall is St Andrew Undershaft. This particular church has been featured in City Spires and Towers previously. Currently its covered in scaffolding for renovation work and The Scapel right next door is approaching completion, which means in the near future there is going to be quite a new look with a restored church and a newly completed skyscraper.
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Scaffolding covered St Andrew’s with The Scapel
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St Helen’s with 100 Bishopsgate behind well on the way to completion. Tower 42 at left.
St Helen’s Bishopsgate,which I have featured twice before, is the one that has all the tallest skyscrapers around it! The new building at 100 Bishopsgate is now substantially built and its fast becoming the new dominant structure to the north of St Helens’ complementing the dominance of current buildings such as The Cheesegrater, The Gherkin and Tower 42.
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St Boltoph’s in Bishopsgate with a number of modern developments surrounding it.
St Boltoph’s without Bishopsgate featured here for the first time, pretty much suffers the same fayre of skyscrapers too, with all the aforementioned ones immediately prominent to the south and east of the church. 100 Bishopsgate and 110 Bishopsgate (aka the Heron Tower) are its immediate neighbour skyscrapers. North of Liverpool Street are a number of new skyscrapers so these will too eventually dominate the church’s space in that direction.

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