Christ Church Spitalfields, London

4.3




Christ Church Spitalfields is an Anglican church built between 1714 and 1729 to a design by Nicholas Hawksmoor. On Commercial Street in the East End and in today's Central London it is in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, on its western border facing the City of London, it was one of the first (and arguably one of the finest) of the so-called "Commissioners' Churches" built for the Commission for Building Fifty New Churches, which had been established by an Act of Parliament in 1711.


The purpose of the Commission was to acquire sites and build fifty new churches to serve London's new settlements. This parish was carved out of the circa 1 square mile (2.6 km2) medieval Stepney parish for an area then dominated by Huguenots (French Protestants and other 'dissenters' who owed no allegiance to the Church of England and thus to the King) as a show of Anglican authority. Some Huguenots used it for baptisms, marriages and burials but not for everyday worship, preferring their own chapels (their chapels were severely plain compared with the bombastic English Baroque style of Christ Church) though increasingly they assimilated into English life and Anglican worship – which was in the eighteenth century relatively plain.


The Commissioners for the new churches including Christopher Wren, Thomas Archer and John Vanbrugh appointed two surveyors, one of whom was Nicholas Hawksmoor. Only twelve of the planned fifty churches were built, of which six were designed by Hawksmoor.
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Christ Church Spitalfields Reviews
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4.5
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  • Visited the cafe in the crypt for lunch. There wasn't much choice, but settled on a bacon and egg sandwich and a can of lemonade. This came to £9.70. The staff member came over 5 minutes later having....  more »
  • For the second time I failed to see the interior of this imposing church on the boundary between the City of London and the East End, this time because there was a private service taking place. But...  more »
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  • An absolutely beautiful example of Hawkesmoor architecture in the heart of vibrant Spitalfields. An engaged church community, a really fantastic venue for formal events in the nave, and informal events in the crypt, where there is also a cafe for every day.
  • Christ Church Spitalfields is one of the few and most beautiful examples of English-Baroque that exists in London. The architecture was created by Nicholas Hawksmoor who was previously the assistant of Sir Christopher Wren at St. Pauls Cathedral. The Organ installed in the church in 1735 is considered to be the masterpiece of the greatest organ builder in Georgian England, Richard Bridge. Discover more about this amazing Church and its special Organ with Unexpected London.
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