London Unveiled

great places to visit off the beaten path.

Saint Benet, Paul’s Wharf ~ the only original Christopher Wren church in London

While a church has been on this site since 1111, the current church was built after the Great Fire of London in 1685 by Christopher Wren.  It survived the Second World War intact and remains the only unaltered church built by Wren in London. The church is built in a Dutch country style, is basically square, and retains the galleries.  In 1879 Queen Victoria granted the Welsh community the right to worship in Welsh.  Since then it has remained the ‘Welsh Church’ in London and was consecrated as the London Church of Welsh Episcopalians.  The church still holds Sunday services in Welsh (with English translation) and offers tours on Thursdays.

Items of Interest:  The Flemish oak communion table was given to the church in 1686.  The galleries are also from the 17th century but are now increasingly rare to find in Wren’s London churches as many were rebuilt after the Blitz.  You will also find Charles II’s coat of arms as it is claimed he worshiped here in private in a gallery box – the entrance to which is now bricked up.

Famous Connections:  English architect Inigo Jones was buried here in 1652 (designed the Banqueting House and Covent Garden).  Henry Fielding, author of Tom Jones, married here in 1747.  Shakespeare referenced this church in his play Twelfth Night.

See their website for more details: http://www.stbenetwelshchurch.org.uk/pages/homeENG.html

Located at: White Lion Hill and Queen Victoria Street, London EC4V 4ER

Closest tube: Blackfriars.

3 comments on “Saint Benet, Paul’s Wharf ~ the only original Christopher Wren church in London

  1. Sartenada
    June 9, 2012

    Outside it is looking “different” than generally speaking churches do.

  2. Pingback: The Painted Hall ~ arguably the greatest work of art in London not in a museum. | London Unveiled

  3. Chris Walker
    October 27, 2016

    Robert Hook was the architect.

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This entry was posted on June 7, 2012 by in Churches, City of London and tagged , , , , .
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