St Mary Woolnoth


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


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


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


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