For my ‘culture’ gig this week my London shoes took me to a location that could be described as an ‘oasis of tranquility in a desert storm’ (very much like me, I guess ) – and that is “St. Dunstan-in-the East” – a small church site tucked away down a little side street, about 5mins walk from the Tower of London, right in the middle of all the chaotic noise and commotion of the metropolis
The church of St. Dunstan was originally built in 1100 – but was very badly damaged by the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Rather than rebuild it at that time, a decision was made to simply paper over the cracks, but to also add a tower and steeple, which was designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1695.
During WW2 the church was again severely damaged by German bombing during the Blitz, although Wren’s tower and steeple amazingly survived.
At that time, the decision was made not to rebuild the church, and it sort of sat derelict until 1967, at which time the City of London decided to turn the ruins into a public garden, which was eventually opened in 1970.
Throughout the subsequent years, improvement works and maintenance projects have been conducted to ensure that this secret garden remains a little oasis of tranquility for all to experience and enjoy – long may it remain so.