All Hallows by the Tower

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The oldest church in the City of London.

About this church

All Hallows church was founded in 675AD by Erkenwald, Bishop of London, as a chapel of the great Abbey of Barking in Essex.

A complete arch from the original Saxon stone building is still in place and the Crypt Museum features a large area of tessellated Roman pavement, discovered in the early 20th century. The Museum also houses a quirky display of historical items from throughout All Hallows' long history, including the Templar altar from Richard the Lionheart's Castle Athlit in Palestine, the crow's nest from Shackleton's last Antarctic voyage and church registers recording the marriage of John Quincy Adams to a local girl and the baptism of William Penn.

The tower of the church was built, unusually, during the Commonwealth era and it is where Samuel Pepys made his observations of the progress of the Great Fire of London. All Hallows is also the Guild Church of Toc H, founded by Revd 'Tubby' Clayton, who was Vicar of the parish for 40 years. Tubby was also behind the rebuilding of the church after its damage in the Blitz of WW2, drawing in donations from all over the world.

The church was reconsecrated in 1957 and serves the local community and its many visitors as a place of welcome, reflection and discovery to this day. Along with its cafe next door, it is open 7 days a week with a regular schedule of events and services.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Train station within 250m
  • Level access to the main areas
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Café in church
  • Church shop or souvenirs

Regular events

  • We hold a weekly meditative Taizé service on Wednesdays at 6pm to encourage people to encounter God in a new way. The informal candlelit service is quiet and reflective, and includes Bible readings, prayers and times of silence as well as music. The chants are simple, easy to learn and very beautiful.
  • Regular organ recitals take place at All Hallows at lunchtime on Thursdays from 1.10pm to 2pm, the concerts are free, but donations welcome.

Other nearby churches

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St Olave

First mentioned in the 12th century, some fabric of the 1270 church remains, including the crypt.

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Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula

Historical documents refer to St Peter's as a Royal Chapel as early as the 12th century, today it is a Chapel Royal and Royal Peculiar; directly under the jurisdiction of The Queen.

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