As you may have already intuited, London is one of the best places in the world to visit when it comes to architectural diversity. “Why?” you might ask. Well, first of all, because it is an old city and secondly, because it had masters like Sir Christopher Wren or Nicholas Hawksmoor decorate its inner bounds. When a single man can erect 51 churches after the Great Fire of London on 1666 (Mr Wren), then one has to ask the question “Is this architectural heaven itself or what?” So, today we decided to put together a very special list for you brave trailblazers (and architecture buffs): the top four churches dedicated to St Michael in London. Let’s see how the chief archangel is worshipped in the nucleus of the United Kingdom (wink)!
1. St Michael’s Church, Camden Town:
Affiliated with the Anglican Church and sitting deep within the heart of the city, the St Michael’s Church of Camden Town is a religious structure that should not be left out by any tourist. Kicking off the list with grace, it has been designated a Grade II* structure within the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Designed in 1881 by George Frederick Bodley and Thomas Garner and adhering to the majestic standards of the Gothic Revival architectural style, it is considered by the locals one of the most exquisite examples of churches dedicated to St Michael in the world. Oh, and let us not forget about the fact that, along with the St Pancras Old Church, St Mary’s Church, Somers Town, and St Paul’s Church, Camden Square, it has become a part of the St Pancras Team Ministry. A definite must-explore!
2. St Michael, Cornhill:
Moving on, are you ready for a religious structure that has pre-Norman Conquest foundations? If you are feeling adventurous then you are in the right place, as the St Michael, Cornhill church sitting in the City of London is there to fill you with awe. Listed as a Grade I building in the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, it is recognized as a Sir Christopher Wren work. See? No matter where we might tread in terms of London-based churches, Mr Wren cannot be eluded – he was just that great. Its soaring tower, however, was appended by Nicholas Hawksmoor (the other master exemplified in the intro) and further embellishments were completed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and Herbert Williams in the nineteenth century. Following the rites of the Church of England, it presents clearly-visible Gothic Revival elements much like the previous contestant. A real eye-popper, this one!
3. St Michael Paternoster Royal:
Next up on our list is the renowned St Michael Paternoster Royal church and it more than earns its place when considering its longevity and/or transtemporal perseverance. Affiliated with the Church of England and sitting under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, it presents exquisite Baroque standards. Originally erected back in the 13th century but flattened by the Great Fire of London in 1666, it was rebuilt by our one and only master, Sir Christopher Wren, in 1694. Though this did give it a few extra years in-between fits of misfortune, it was severely damaged again during the London Blitz on the Second World War. Designated as a Grade I building in the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, it was, at long last, restored between the years 1966 and 1968 – no harm has come to it ever since.
4. St Michael’s Church, Chester Square:
Though this is one of the lesser-known religious structures dedicated to St Michael within the bounds of London, it does not mean that it is any less remarkable than the others mentioned above. Sitting on Chester Square and adding a kind of brilliance to it, the church adheres to the eye-popping standards of the Decorative Gothic architectural style. Built in the year 1844 just as the square itself was being laid down, its exterior is made of the famous Kentish Ragstone. Designed by Thomas Cundy the younger, St Michael’s is affiliated with the Anglican Church. Be different – check out lesser known landmarks and enrich your life (wink)!
Did you enjoy our list? Which of the aforementioned religious structures have you visited and what lasting impressions have they left you with? Hit the comment section below and tell us all about your experiences. Oh, and, as always, be sure to check back from time to time for some exciting updates. Other adventures still await (triple wink)!