St Paul

The great Inigo Jones designed this Italianate masterpiece, completed in 1663.

About this church

People often ask why the huge east door onto the piazza doesn't open. It was originally intended to be the main entrance, but tradition demanded that the altar be placed at the east end. So the portico door is actually a fake and the church is entered from a little graveyard off Bedford Street.

Among those buried at the church are Grinling Gibbons (Master Carver of the late 17th/early 18th century) and the pulpit is said to be his work. Also buried here is Margaret Ponteous, the first known victim of the Great Plague.

St Paul's is widely known as the Actors' Church and has been associated with local theatres since it was built. Memorials in the church are dedicated to many famous actors, including Charlie Chaplin and Noel Coward.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches

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The Church of Scotland has been active in London since the time of James VI, King of Scots, who became King James I of England in 1603, the current building dates from 1909, but Crown Court Church has been on this site since 1719.

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St Martin in the Fields

In 1542 Henry VIII rebuilt the church already on this site to keep plague victims from being carried through his palace grounds because at the time it was an isolated spot in the fields.

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