This is where the trail begins. Start at the northern end of St Paul's at Christchurch Greyfriars. Now only a tower remains but formerly this church held a very prestigious role and was chosen as the resting place of three medieval Queens.
Marguerite of France, second wife to King Edward I; Isabella, widow of Edward II andit was also where the heart of Eleanor of Provence, wife of Henry III was buried.
After the dissolution of the monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII it became a parish church and then was destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666.
Although rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren it was again destroyed this time by bombing almost three hundred years later during the Second World War and now forms part of a public garden, a fitting resting place for the three Queens.
From there head down Rose Street to St Paul's Cathedral, a landmark that has overlooked the city of London in its various guises since 604 AD. The current building designed by Sir Christopher Wren was built between 1675 - 1710, after becoming another victim of the Great Fire of London.
Inside are countless treasures including a moving sculpture called Mother and Child by Henry Moore and the funeral effigy of John Donne. Climb the dome to the Whispering Gallery, known because a whisper against its walls can be heard on the opposite side 100 feet away. Or descend into the crypt where Sir Christopher Wren is buried alongside Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.
|St Augustine, Watling Street|
Cross the road and head towards the Millennium bridge and as you do look to your left and you'll glimpse the remains of St. Mary Somerset. According to John Stow in 1370, this where the Brabant weaving community were ordered to meet by the Mayor of London. To prevent further disputes with Flemish weavers the churchyard of St Mary Somerset was chosen as the location for hiring serving men. Meanwhile the men from Flanders were ordered to meet a safe distance away in the churchyard of St Laurence Pountney.
Destroyed by the Great Fire, it was one of 51 churches rebuilt by the office of Sir Christopher Wren. Located on Upper Thames Street, the rest of the church was demolished in 1871. It has a unique feature that creates an optical illusion of changing heights when viewed from different vantage points. At the top are eight Baroque pinnacles, four on each corner with panelled bases and scrolls and surmounted by vases. Between each of these are 20 foot obelisks, with ball finials and these play with perspective.
View of St Paul's from the Millennium bridge
On the wall is a placard commemorating Sir Christopher Wren having stayed there during the building of St. Paul's Cathedral. Although this turned out to be false, it meant that the building survived demolition like others on this side of the Thames.
At the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, the church became the property of King Henry VIII who rented it to the congregation and re-named it St Saviour's. Eventually tired of renting their church for worship, a group of merchants from the congregation, known as 'the Bargainers', bought the church from King James I in 1611 for £800. By this time the church served across a very colourful area, from merchants and minor courtiers, to actors, foreign craftsmen, and ladies from Bankside brothels. And It's where John Harvard (the founder of Harvard College in Boston, America) was christened in 1607.
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