St Mary Woolnoth

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I finally managed to complete my collection of Nicholas Hawksmoor’s London churches this week. During a business trip down to the Smoke when I was staying overnight near Blackfriars, as it was a pleasant evening I went out for a stroll and ended up wandering over past St Paul’s and towards Bank Underground station. and here it was – St Mary’s Woolnoth.

It’s the smallest of Hawksmoor’s churches and built in 1716-1727 on a “closed” site, which means the sides and rear are obscured. Hawksmoor used Classical features, but in an unusual way , and that’s certainly the case with St Mary’s. It’s not his prettiest building. I think it has a somewhat harsh appearance. It’s built of Portland stone but it’s rather grubby which contributes to this.

The lower half of the front (west) facade is heavily rusticated and punctured by a large door with a semi-circular window about half way up. But the dominant feature is the unusual double tower with Corinthian columns and two small turrets

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So now I’ve managed to see all six of Hawksmoor’s churches. But I’ve now found out that he also designed the tower to St Luke’s on Old Street. So I guess I’ll have to go and take a look the next time I’m down there!

The north side of the church has five “blind” apertures surrounded by rusticated stonework

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Bank Underground station, built in 1897-8, is directly underneath the church.

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