SECRET LONDON – ST DUNSTAN IN THE EAST
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Roald Dahl
Welcome to my new post series “Secret London”! I will show you some magical and less known London attractions. Today I want to take you on a journey to an enchanted garden hidden in the ruins of a medieval church. Believe it or not, this beautiful place is hidden right in the middle of the City of London!
St Dunstan in the East was a Church of England parish church on St Dunstan’s Hill, halfway between London Bridge and the Tower of London. Originally built in about 1100, it was severely damaged in 1666 by the Great Fire of London and then in in the Blitz of 1941 during the Second World War. In 1967 the City of London decided to turn the remains into a public garden, which opened in 1971. Designed by the City of London Architects and Parks Departments, it won a Landscape Heritage Award in 1976. Today the gardens and the church ruins are a Grade 1 listed building which means they cannot be destroyed and they are protected from any further development.
This hidden gem has a magical, fairy tale feel to it. Because it’s surrounded by modern London architecture, it feels like you are stepping into a different dimension, very picturesque and frozen in time.
The nearest underground station is Monument. I recommend visiting St Dunstan in the East at weekends when it gets more quiet and eerie. During the weekdays the gardens are a popular lunchtime retreat for City workers who want to escape the hustle and bustle of London. Because who wouldn’t want to spend their lunch break in a magical fairy tale world?
Do you like exploring less popular attractions and discovering some hidden gems? Let me know in the comments below!
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