All Hallows London Wall

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• All Hallows London Wall is situated adjacent to London Wall, the former city wall, at Broad Street.

• The present church was constructed by George Dance the Younger in 1767, replacing an earlier church which had been built sometime in the early 12th century on a bastion of the old Roman wall. It became renowned for its hermits, who lived in cells in the church. All Hallows escaped destruction in the Great Fire of London in 1666 due to its position under the wall, but subsequently fell into dereliction.

• At the age of 24 Dance rebuilt the church. He had recently returned from Italy where he had conducted detailed studies of Classical buildings. The new All Hallows took its inspiration from the Classical world and was remarkably simple in form, with no aisles. Its interior consists solely of a barrel-vaulted nave with a half-dome apse at the far end, with decoration deriving from the ancient Temple of Venus and Rome in the city of Rome. Attached Ionic columns support a frieze, rather than the usual entablature. The exterior is plain and of brick, except for the stone- faced tower above the porch at the west end, which forms a surprising contrast with the elegant interior, with its coffered ceiling and delicate patterns reminiscent of snowflakes. The chandelier in the apse and the organ gallery are particularly noteworthy.

• The most unusual feature is the pulpit, which is the only one in a city church to be entered from outside the nave and is accessed through the vestry, which was built on part of the original Roman City wall.

• All Hallows was damaged during the Second World War but was restored in the early 1960s. It is a guild church associated with the Worshipful Company of Carpenters, which has held its annual elections in the church for over 600 years. Until 1994 it was the headquarters of the Council for the Care of Churches. It is still occasionally used for services. It is now the home for a number of charitable organisations.

• The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950.


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