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More Spires Of City Churches

January 19, 2023
by the gentle author

St Lawrence Jewry, Gresham St

This January, I waited so long for a clear day to take pictures of spires in the City of London that, when we were blessed with one, I could not resist taking as many photographs as possible. Such has been my preoccupation that, in future, I shall always be inclined now to think of clear days early in the year as “ideal weather to photograph church spires in the City.”

Yet there were other obstacles beyond the meteorological that I had to contend with in my quest for spires, not just delivery vans parked in the wrong places and people standing in front of churches making long mobile phone calls, but the over-zealous guard who challenged my motives as I stood with my camera upon the public footpath, suspiciously implying I might have sinister intent in photographing church spires – which could have grave implications for national security. “You realise this is the City of London,” he informed me in explanation of his impertinence, as if I could be unaware.

Fortunately, it is in the nature of photographing church spires that I had no choice but to lift up my eyes above these trifles of life and I was rewarded for my tenacity in the pursuit with all the wonders that you see here. In Rome or any other European capital, such a close gathering of  architectural masterpieces would be venerated among the finest treasures of the city. In London, our overfamiliarity with these epic churches means they have become invisible and hardly anyone looks at them. Commonly, the ancient spires are overshadowed by the modern buildings which surround them today, yet I found – in many cases – that the act of focusing attention upon these under-appreciated edifices revealed them newly to my eyes.

St Mary Le Bow, Cheapside

St Margaret’s, Lothbury

St Vedast, Foster Lane

Christchurch Greyfriars, Newgate St

Christchurch Greyfriars, Newgate St

St Mary Le Bow, Cheapside

St Mary Le Bow, Cheapside

St Stephen, Walbrook

Whittington’s Almshouses, College Hill

St James, Garlickhythe

St Michael Paternoster Royal, College Hill

1 & 2 Lawrence Pountney Hill – Built in 1703, these are the finest surviving merchants’ houses in the City.

Churchyard of St Laurence Pountney

St Magnus the Martyr, Lower Thames St

St Dunstan in the East, Idol Lane

All Hallows Staining, Mark Lane

St Botolph’s, Aldgate

You may also like to take a look at

Spires of City Churches

Nicholas Hawksmoor’s Churches

A View of Christ Church Spitalfields

In City Churchyards

9 Responses leave one →
  1. Helen permalink
    January 19, 2023

    Goodness, the innocent pleasure of taking photographs of architecture is questioned these days! Whenever I visit London, particularly the City, my camera is always busy. Some lovely photographs there and may these wonderful churches continue to stand tall for years to come. I particularly like the spire of St. Mary le Bow church.

  2. Christopher permalink
    January 19, 2023

    I admire your tenacity. Lovely photographs.

  3. Paul Loften permalink
    January 19, 2023

    Thank you for these magnificent photos . The work you put into them is greatly appreciated . It must get tiresome having to deal with security people trying to prove their jobsworth and repeatedly having to explain to them what you are doing . It doesn’t make it any easier that you would not have any official press documentation to flash in their faces . I know on my former job I had an official ID and it made life a bit easier if I had to hang around and look suspicious. Little would they know when they spoke to you , that they had just questioned a national treasure who was safeguarding their job from greedy developers . “ You are aware this is the City of London? “ Indeed .

  4. Christine Swan permalink
    January 19, 2023

    Photographs that remind me of “home”. Churches suit the contrast of black and white photography. I was christened in St Giles Cripplegate which I always find very difficult to locate even though I have visited several times. A helpful member of staff from the Barbican Centre directed me and said: ” It’s very famous you know.” I need to visit some of the churches shown here as I have links with others. What is it about over-zealous people who assume there are always rules being broken? “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.” Apparently, that’s obstructing the footpath!

  5. January 19, 2023

    It must be that you look so much like an anarchist, G.A.! *wink*

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate these photographs. Too often in the City you can’t stand still to look up, or someone will barrel into you while looking down at their phone! Now I can revel in their glory at my desk, with my cup of coffee, in peace, because you have done all the work.

    Thank you.

  6. Harriet Williamson permalink
    January 19, 2023

    Thank you very much for the beautiful b/w photos of spires!

  7. Sonia Murray permalink
    January 19, 2023

    Love the photo of St Michael Paternoster Royal reflected in the beautiful old window. Brilliant! As always, thank you, G.A.!

  8. Jonathan permalink
    January 20, 2023

    Some nice photos of the interiors of the houses in Laurence Pountney Hill can be found at
    just search for ‘Pountney’

  9. Carolyn Hooper permalink
    January 29, 2023

    Thank-you, gentle author, for this wonderful journey around this part of London. I particularly love the merchants’ houses built 320 years ago. How magnificent that they sit there with a bicycle on their steps.

    From The Land Down Under

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