Church Finder

St James Garlickhythe

Address: Garlick Hill EC4V 2AL
Telephone: 020 7329 3632, 020 7236 1719 (Vestry answerphone)
Usual opening times: Thu 11am-3pm
Description: The London starting point for the pilgrims to Compostella. The current building is Wren’s replacement (1676-82) of its mediæval predecessor. Damage was caused in the Second World War when a massive bomb fell on it but did not explode. The subsequent restoration erased Victorian “improvements” to the interior, which is now near perfect. A bizarre accident in 1991 when a crane fell across the road to demolish the centre of the South front did no permanent damage since the damage was repaired precisely to the previous pattern. The church contains a number of fittings from neighbouring churches now demolished, and in particular armorial memorial boards reflecting armorial memorials destroyed in those demolitions. Note also the splendid carved armorial supporters of lion and unicorn, one pair belonging to the church and the other coming from St Michael Queenhithe. The quality of the light admitted through the clear glass clerestories has resulted in the church being known to some as “Wren’s lantern”.

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