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St Paul's Church Gardens, London

#130 of 182 in Parks in London
Garden · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
St Paul's Church is a church located in Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9ED. It was designed by Inigo Jones as part of a commission for the 4th Earl of Bedford in 1631 to create "houses and buildings fit for the habitations of Gentlemen and men of ability". As well as being the parish church of Covent Garden, the church has gained the nickname of "the actors' church" by a long association with the theatre community.
Completed in 1633, St Paul's was the first entirely new church to be built in London since the Reformation. Its design and the layout of the square have been attributed to Inigo Jones since the 17th century, although firm documentary evidence is lacking. According to an often repeated story, recorded by Horace Walpole, Lord Bedford asked Jones to design a simple church "not much better than a barn", to which the architect replied "Then you shall have the handsomest barn in England".
The building is described by Sir John Summerson as "a study in the strictly Vitruvian Tuscan Order" and "almost an archaeological exercise". The description of a Tuscan or Etruscan-style temple in Vitruvius, which Jones closely follows in this building, reflects the early forms of Roman temple, which essentially continued Etruscan architecture, though quite what Vitruvius intended by his account has divided modern scholars. It has been seen as a work of deliberate primitivism: the Tuscan order is associated by Palladio with agricultural buildings.
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St Paul's Church Gardens reviews

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6 reviews
  • What a lovely surprise to find such peaceful gardens right next to the tourist chaos and bustle of Covent Garden, tucked away behind St Paul’s, which is known also as the Actors Church.  more »
  • A nice, peaceful place to relax and get some temporary respite from the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden with Apple Market and Jubilee Market. Located around St Paul's Church, there's plenty of...  more »
  • This is one of the best places that you can spend your free time in the city. There are so many different artist around this area that can blow your mid away with there shows. There are a lot of people most of the time and you can enjoy even a full day there. In the area you gonna find a lot of good places to eat and to get drink.
  • I thought the church inside was beautiful... Saint Paul's Church is also known as the Actors Church & linked to famous people. I had recently lost my dad when I called into this church and it was a beautiful place to light a candle and reflect. Very peaceful inside even though it is so busy outside of course. They also have concerts & a lovely little garden. Definitely worth popping in if you are in the area.

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