Christchurch Greyfriars Church Garden – London, England - Atlas Obscura

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Christchurch Greyfriars Church Garden

The ruins of a church destroyed by both the Great Fire of London and the Blitz, now turned into a peaceful garden. 


Not unlike the more famous ruins of St. Dunstan-in-the-East, the history of Christchurch Greyfriars Church involves both the Great Fire of London in 1666, and the Blitz bombing by Germany during World War II. The original church located on this site was constructed in 1225 and, until its first destruction in the 17th-century, was the burial site of four British queens.

Famous architect Sir Christopher Wren designed the new church, which was completed in 1704. The building lasted until 1940. On December 29th, a major bombing by the Luftwaffe caused large fires across the city, with Christchurch Greyfriars being among the buildings destroyed. Only its west tower remained standing.

The rose garden that currently occupies the space where the church formerly stood was established in 1989. Its arrangement reflects the floorplan of the former church, with its features standing for those that were there before. The wooden planters where the roses and other flowers of the garden grow take the place of the pews. Where stone columns once stood, wooden towers with climbing plants now take their place.

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