Limehouse, London

St. Anne's Church, Limehouse, London

One of Nicholas Hawksmoor’s six London churches, St. Anne in Limehouse is meant to be one of 50 churches commissioned and known as the Queen Anne Churches. In the end only 12 were built, five designed by Hawksmoor. St Anne’s was consecrated in 1730. It could be regarded as the archetype for this period of church building, particularly in London and has all the familiar features (columned portico, stepped and galleried tower, apsidal end etc.).

On Good Friday 1850 fire tore through the church and entirely destroyed the contents. Restoration took place between 1851 and 1854 under the guidance of Philip Hardwick. At the time the pipe organ was installed which had won first prize at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and is greatly regarded by choral musicians.

The church is in direct line of sight of the Greenwich Mean Time signal and a weight in the tower falls when a signal is received from the Greenwich Observatory, making it an important link between the City of London and the place where its time is set.

Extensive renovations have occurred in the 21st Century to a previously neglected church and today it is home to the Docklands Sinfonia and often hosts concerts, although it remains the parish church of Limehouse.

One odd feature is the pyramid which stands in the churchyard. This was originally intended to be placed on the top of the tower, but funds ran out before it could be hoisted into place.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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© Text copyright - Raving Loony Productions and Andrew J. Müller, Roy Barton
and Shaun Runham
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