St Dunstan in the East

75 Reviews

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Things to do


Date of travel

January, 2020

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The hustle and bustle of workers and tourists around the Tower Bridge and Tower of London area can be quite overwhelming, so I was delighted to find this tranquil respite from the crowds, just a short walk away. Saint Dunstan (named after the 10th century monk) suffered considerable damage in the great fire of London and as a result had a new tower built (designed by Sir Christopher Wren). In 1941 a German bomb destroyed most of the church and grounds and it is only the tower and steeple, north and south walls that remain. In 1967 the City of London transformed the ruins into a public park, after it was abandoned by the Anglican church. Now this small space sports benches for travellers to rest their weary legs and eat their packed lunch (if they have one). Nature is doing its best to reclaim the ruins with vines and tree branches growing through the ruined windows. Few people seem to know about this place, so it is deliciously quiet and you can sit there and contemplate how magnificent Saint Dunstan would have been before the bomb turned it into ruins. I think it’s a magnificent space and I love the fact that from through the ruined windows you can see the Shard, a real contrast of the old and the new.

Steve Aldridge

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