The medieval Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, an Anglican Church – Oh, my! It is London’s oldest surviving parish church and was built in central London north of the Thames (in Smithfield) during the reign of King Henry I in 1123, meaning that next year it will celebrate 900 years! Founded by Augustinian monks, they brought free healthcare to London, as they constructed St. Bartholomew Hospital at the same time. We found the church extraordinary, in that parts of the remaining church are the original construction. Half of the church was demolished in 1543, after being ransacked. But what remains is definitely unique. We decided to devote this entire post to St. Bartholomew Church, as we found it so evocative of an ancient time.
There are fascinating angles, arches, lighting, and views, as you will see in the photos. The last photo shows a few of the movies that were filmed here, but there are several others. The beautiful pipe organ “stopped working” several years ago, but replacing or refurbishing it will cost more than a million pounds. A sign asking for donations said that it costs approximately 1,000 pounds per day to keep the church up and running. We learned this from church volunteers working as greeters, who were very welcoming.
So take a peek into this extraordinary and atmospheric place. It is our hope that you will get a sense of how it casts a spell through its shadows and angles.