During my last trip into London to photograph the churches in the Square Mile I worked my way around no less than six churches. The church I''m featuring here from that day, St. Magnus the Martyr, lay the furthest south, just north of the Thames, on Lower Thames Street.
Although St. Magnus the Martyr is close to London Bridge it once had an altogether closer connection, with its churchyard once forming part of the approach to old London Bridge.
The original church on this site had a lucky escape in 1633 when a careless servant in a nearby house spilled some hot coal ashes, causing a fire which destroyed no less than forty two houses. Despite the fact that water was scarce, because the Thames was frozen at the time, the church survived unscathed. Sadly it didn't survive the Great Fire in 1666 and was one of the first buildings to be destroyed, as it stood less than three hundred yards from the bakery in Pudding Lane where the conflagration started.
Reconstruction of St Magnus' started in 1671, under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren and was largely complete within five years. The resulting church is really quite ornate and I was torn as to what to photograph when I walked inside, with so many interesting and eye catching details. I arrived shortly after the Thursday service finished and the aroma of incense was all pervading, adding to the atmosphere created by period shafts of sunlight falling through the windows.