Before the Great Fire of 1666 there were 107 parish churches in the City of London. Only 22 survived; 23 were not rebuilt; 52 were rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren. This is a major achievement, one without parallel. Given that very few churches were built in England after the Henrician Reformation, and that pure Classicism was still a rare accomplishment in these isles, it fell to Wren virtually to invent the post-medieval English church.
Wren was England’s greatest architect; that was the orthodox verdict for much of the twentieth century. Recently scholars have shown his role as architect of the City churches to have ranged from dominant to nothing at all. Of the six parish churches entered on this walk, only two were definitely designed in their entirety by Wren himself, while two are certainly by others. Nevertheless, his management of the rebuilding project, and his undeniable contribution of ingenuity, inventiveness and beauty, leaves his genius little diminished, and the subject of the City churches even more interesting.
Only 23 ‘Wren’ churches survive, and most of those are considerably changed. Intact survival, authenticity and atmosphere determine the selection for this walk.
Oh, and Wren did a cathedral. This was also a heroic struggle against parsimony, prejudice and hostility, but nevertheless within forty years there arose one of the world’s great ecclesiastical buildings, and Britain’s finest classical construction. The day incorporates some special arrangements including ascent to the triforium (141 steps) and a view of the Great Model.
9.20am, Blackfriars Underground Station.
c. 5.15pm, Bank Underground Station.
£205. This includes lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments, admission charges and donations.
Maximum 18 participants.
There is approximately two miles of walking during the course of the day as well as the 141 steps to the Triforium level at St Paul’s Cathedral.
We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to email@example.com. We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.
'This is a very reasonable price for a very good day of architecture in addition to the services of an expert and experienced lecturer.'