Spires of City Churches
Spire of St Margaret Pattens designed by Christopher Wren in the medieval style
Yesterday, I took my camera and crossed over Middlesex St from Spitalfields to the City of London. I had been waiting for a suitable day to photograph spires of City churches and my patience was rewarded by the dramatic contrast of strong, low-angled January light and deep shadow, with the bonus of showers casting glistening reflections upon the pavements.
Christopher Wren’s churches are the glory of the City and, even though their spires no longer dominate the skyline as they once did, these charismatic edifices are blessed with an enduring presence which sets them apart from the impermanence of the cheap-jack buildings surrounding them. Yet they are invisible, for the most part, to the teeming City workers who come and go in anxious preoccupation, barely raising their eyes to the wonders of Wren’s spires piercing the sky.
My heart leaps when the tightly woven maze of the City streets gives way unexpectedly to reveal one of these architectural marvels. It is an effect magnified when walking in the unrelieved shade of a narrow thoroughfare bounded on either side by high buildings and you lift your gaze to discover a tall spire ascending into the light, and tipped by a gilt weathervane gleaming in sunshine.
While these ancient structures might appear redundant to some, in fact they serve a purpose that was never more vital in this location, as abiding reminders of the existence of human aspiration beyond the material.
In the porch of St James Garlickhythe where I sheltered from the rain
St Margaret Pattens viewed from St Mary at Hill
The Monument with St Magnus the Martyr
St Edmund, King & Martyr, Lombard St
St Michael Paternoster Royal, College Hill
Wren’s gothic spire for St Mary Aldermary
St Augustine, Watling Street
St Brides, Fleet St
In St Brides churchyard
St Martin, Ludgate
St Sepulchre’s, Snow Hill
St Michael, Cornhill
St Mary Le Bow, Cheapside
St Alban, Wood St
St Mary at Hill, Lovat Lane
St Peter Upon Cornhill
At St James Garlickhythe
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