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St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace City of London

Summary

There has been a church here since at least 1180 and the first mention of 'St Adelburga' is in 1250. St Ethelburga was one of the oldest medieval churches in the City, having survived the Great Fire of London and the Blitz, but was devastated by an IRA bomb in April 1993. It was completely rebuilt and re-opened in November 2002 as a Centre for Reconciliation and Peace. The former churchyard, which prior to the IRA bomb was laid out as a garden, was re-designed as a small peace garden, planted with a specially-created St Ethelburga's Rose, a statue of the saint and a fountain that had previously stood in a garden beyond the current boundary wall.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
Guild Church of St Ethelburga the Virgin

Site location:
78 Bishopsgate

Postcode:
EC2N 4AG ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Churchyard

Date(s):
medieval; 1990s

Designer(s):
2002 Peace Garden: Sylvia Crawford

Listed structures:
LBI: St Ethelburga's Church

Borough:
City of London

Site ownership:
Charitable Trust formed in 1997

Site management:
St Ethelburga's

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
as church

Special conditions:

Facilities:

Events:
Various events

Public transport:
Rail/tube: Liverpool Street (Central). Bus: 8, 26, 35, 47, 48

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/09/2008
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.stethelburgas.org

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ331813

Size in hectares:

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
No

In Conservation Area:
Yes

Conservation Area name:
St Helen's Place

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:

Other LA designation:
None

St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace

St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, Courtyard Garden, September 2008. Photo: S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

Fuller information

There has been a church here since at least 1180 and the first mention of 'St Adelburga' is in 1250. St Ethelburga was one of the oldest medieval churches in the City having survived the Great Fire of London and the Blitz, but was devastated by an IRA bomb at Bishopsgate in April 1993. It was completely rebuilt and re-opened in November 2002 as a Centre for Reconciliation and Peace by HRH the Prince of Wales, and also re-consecrated as a church. It once had a medieval porch with a little house and shops built in 1577 and 1615, but these were removed by the Corporation of London 'thereby deprived the church of almost its only distinction'. In 'The Old Churches of London' (1942), Gerald Cobb refers to the churchyards of St Ethelburga and St Edmund that 'have been turned into prim little gardens'.

When the church was rebuilt in 2002 the former church garden was re-designed as a small peace garden by Sylvia Crawford, planted with St Ethelburga's Rose, especially created by Peter Beales Roses, a statue of the saint by Naomi Blake and a fountain that had previously stood in a garden beyond the current boundary wall. This was a gift of the Billiter Literary Society in memory of Rev W F Geikie Cobb, Rector from 1900-41. Beyond the garden wall is 'The Tent', a space dedicated to the meeting of faiths, made of woven goat's hair in Saudi Arabia to designs of Keith Critchlow with mosaic and other art and craft made in Morocco, Israel and the UK.

Sources consulted:

Gerald Cobb 'The Old Churches of London', Batsford, 1942; 'A Short History of St Ethelburga's church' leaflet, (n.d., post 2002); Harvey Hackman, 'Wates's Book of London Churchyards, Collins, 1981

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