Thursday, 3 January 2013

Historic Churches on Holborn and City

So, today I went on an adventure around Holborn and the City of London to look at the lesser known historic Churches in the area. Here is what I found.

1. The Church of the Holy Sepulche, Holborn. (Aka; St Sepulchre-without-Newgate) 
Originally built in Saxon times but destroyed in the Fire of London and rebuilt 1878

St Sepulchre's Church covers the site of an Original Saxon Church which was rebuilt when it was destroyed in the great Fire of London. The Church itself is renowned as "The Musician's Church" due to its Choir and use for musical events. It holds the largest Parish in the city of London. 

St Bride's Church, Fleet Street

St Brides Church is a beautiful little Parish Church with a long history. The site dates back to Roman times and has been known as a Church site since, at latest, the Saxon period. Underneath the Parish Church itself is a museum with the original foundation and information on the Church's history as well as the a chapel on the site of the Saxon Church and a Separate Crypt Chapel (which was my favourite section and pictured here.)

St Dunstans-in-the-West, Fleet Street

St Dunstan's is also an old Church which has been restored. originally founded some time between 900-1070 and lasted for the most part until the 1800's, even surviving the great fire of London. Between 1800 and 1870 it was completely restored. An interesting feature of this Church is tdat it is only one in England to share the building with a Romanian Orthodox community to the point of having two Altars (see 3rd picture). The Iconostasis is  originally from Antim monastery, Bucharest.

Temple Church, City of London

Sadly, Temple Church was closed. The Church dates back to the 12th Century and was originally built as the English Headquarters of the Knights Templar. The Photo I took is of the Round Church, which is the oldest section, based upon the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

St Clement Danes Church, Fleet Street

St Clement Danes Church is the dedicated Chapel of the Royal Air Force. The Church was built by Sir Christopher Wren and finished in 1682. During the Blitz the Church was almost destroyed though the tower, steeple and outer walls survived.

St Anselm and St Cecilia Church

 Saint Anselm and St Cecelia's Church is a small Roman Catholic Church in the City of London, down Kingsway. The Church contains two Altars and a small mosaic altar at the side. The Church was built in 1909 over an old Sardinian Church which had been there before. It contains some striking mosaic art and architecture which gives it a unique feel in the area.

The Church of St Alban the Martyr, Holborn

The Church of St Alban the martyr was built in 1863 and largely renovated after the Blitz in 1941. The Church courtyard was the most impressive feature I saw with a number of beautiful examples of Architecture resembling a more rural Church setting (The Crucifix pictured being an example.) The Fresco behind the Altar was another interesting piece, fitting in well with the light theme of the Church.

St Etheldreda's Church, Ely

St Etheldreda's Church is the oldest Catholic Church in England, dating back to 1250. It was previously the seat of the Bishops of Ely. The Church consists of a large Chapel and a large crypt area with a small chapel and room for conferencing. Every week the Church holds a Solemn Latin Mass, which demonstrates the importance of tradition in this small community.

St Andrew Holborn Church

St Andrew's Holborn Church is another Sir Christopher Wren design, built on the foundations of a medieval Church which was in a bad state of repair in the 17th Century. This restored Church was gutted during the Blitz, leaving only its exterior walls. In 1961 it was completely restored by the original plans and stands that way today. As well as the traditional Gothic and traditional architecture the contains a large amount of Byzantine style iconography, such as the resurrection icon and Icons of the Theotokos and Christ behind the altar.

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