Saint Mary Woolnoth: T. S. Elliot

On a walk from St. Bride’s Church on Fleet Street to Liverpool Street Station last week, I was taken with this view of a church I had not seen before:


St. Mary Woolnoth from the North-West

St. Mary Woolnoth from the North-West


I then discovered that it is mentioned in Elliot’s ‘Wasteland‘.

A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying, “Stetson!
You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!


The sheer volume of churches that surround the Bank of England and the Monument is staggering. Many of them are closed during the week but can, after the correct enquiries are made, be opened. The baroque interior of this church by Nicholas Hawksmoor certainly merits exploration!

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