A Pyramid in Limehouse
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A Pyramid in Limehouse

The stunning Hawksmoor church that almost had a pyramid on top.


St Anne's was built between 1714-1727, one of the twelve churches built through the 1711 Act of Parliament, initiated by Queen Anne. She imposed a tax on coal coming up the River Thames to pay for it.

The impressive church was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, Sir Christopher Wren's assistant, and it was consecrated in 1730 and retains an active congregation today.

The Grade I listed church was gutted by fire on Good Friday 1850, and took 4 years to restore by Philip Hardwick.

The church has a long-standing connection to the Royal Navy, the Rector is honorary Chaplain to the Royal Navy.

Its clock is the highest church clock in London and was designed as a special maritime clock for shipping on the Thames: chiming every 15 minutes to guide the 6000 ships that moored in the docks every day. Thankfully for local residents now it chimes only every hour.

The church was used in part of 2011 BBC TV series Call the Midwife.

Outside there's a distinctive pyramid, originally planned to be put on one of the corners at the east end of the building. You can find it in the churchyard and is itself Grade II listed.

Location: 5 Newell Street, Limehouse, E14 7HP