I haven't had an opportunity to continue my city churches project since last July so I put that right today. The City of London, being the financial district, doesn't have many residents so most of the churches in the square mile are closed on Saturdays when the city is so quiet. However, that didn't stop me visiting a couple of the ones that were bombed during World War II.
The church of St. Mary Aldermanbury, like many, was damaged twice. It was destroyed during the Great Fire of 1666 and subsequently rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren. Unfortunately, it was gutted again in 1940, during the blitz, and all that remained afterwards were the walls. Rather than rebuilding a second time, in 1966 the foundations were turned into a garden and the remaining structure was shipped to Fulton, Missouri, where it was rebuilt in the grounds of Westminster College. It was here that Sir Winston Churchill gave his Sinews of peace speech in 1946, which heralded the start of the Cold War, and the church was reconstructed here as a tribute to him.
From there I headed to St. Alban, Wood Street, just a few hundred yards away. Like St Mary's, this church was destroyed in the Great Fire and its replacement was also severely damaged by a WWII bomb. Rather than rebuilding again the ruins were cleared away, leaving just the tower, which is now a private residence.
Today it cuts a rather lonely figure, stranded on an island outside the Wood Street police station and the surrounding buildings make it a challenge to photograph well. I decided to have some fun with my fisheye lens to try and give an impression of the way it is hemmed in on all sides.
From here I visited two other, rather more complete, churches but I'll save those for a second post tomorrow.
25 February 2017