Skip to content

Chamberlain’s East End Churches

December 28, 2018
by the gentle author

Click on this image to enlarge

Inspired by this plate of engravings of East End churches in Chamberlain’s History of London, 1770, that I found in the Bishopsgate Institute, I set out on a seasonal walk yesterday to enjoy the winter sunshine and visit these enduring sentinels of the East End. Yet I found myself disappointed upon my journey by the recent loss of characterful landmarks, even as I took consolation from those that survive.

St Anne’s Limehouse

Revelopment of Passmore Edwards Library, Commercial Rd

I wonder how long Callegari’s Restaurant will last?

Imminent facadism on White Horse Lane

The White Horse is gone from White Horse Lane

St Dunstan’s, Stepney

Old Mulberry Tree in St Dunstan’s Churchyard

Tower DIY in Commercial Rd is being redeveloped

St Paul’s the Seaman’s Church, Shadwell

The Old Rose is the last pub standing in the Ratcliff Highway

St George in the East, Wapping

St John’s, Wapping

Parish School 1780, Wapping

St Mathew’s, Bethnal Green

Archive images courtesy Bishopsgate Institute

You may also like to take a look at

Nicholas Hawksmoor’s Churches

8 Responses leave one →
  1. December 28, 2018

    I’m glad some places are still standing but it’s sad indeed to so much destruction. Valerie

  2. December 28, 2018

    Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose…

  3. Leana Pooley permalink
    December 28, 2018

    A poignant walk. Odd to see all the churches in good nick and yet so many pubs in derelict states – as if religion holds sway over alcohol.

  4. December 28, 2018

    I rather like St. Dunstan, but it’s sad to see so many small businesses disappear. I live in Madrid, and the same thing happens here in the old neighborhoods. Small businesses, the bars and the cafés, shops of all kinds, brought life to a neighborhood and made it possible for people to know each other. They’re being swallowed by chic restaurants or simply nothing.

  5. Helen Breen permalink
    December 28, 2018

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, thanks for the tour of the old churches in the East End that remain and their surrounding neighborhood, ripe for restoration, eh? Loved the original prints…

  6. M D West permalink
    December 28, 2018

    I understand a conversion to student accomodation is planned for the Passmore Edwards Limehouse Library in Commercial Road? I suppose Tower Hamlets Council libraries funding has been cut back? Passmore Edwards was a West-Countryman from Blackwater, near Truro, who spent the money he made from a career running newspapers on free libraries, medical facilities and institutes for the public.

  7. Dave R permalink
    December 28, 2018

    Forgive me if you know this already, but did you know that the 1780 board school in your photo – the one in Scandrett Street – was the location for Scrooge’s house in the 1951 Alistair Sim film? The door where he sees the knocker turning into the face of Jacob Marley. Seasonal factoid. Lovely set, if rather poignant.

  8. Alexandra Rook permalink
    December 28, 2018

    Wonderful posting. Beautiful solemn stately churches; how do they hang on (all Listed I suppose) with diminishing congregations, empty most of the time, while we lose the small unarchitectural markers such as corner pubs that help us navigate the city & where people did congregate. What will take the place of all our lost civic places, such as libraries, and places of benefaction. A solemn sad contrast. Façadism reigns. Meaningful use lost to endless residential.

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS