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London Gardens Online


Holy Trinity Church Graveyard Tower Hamlets


Holy Trinity Church was built to form the focus of planned residential development around Rhondda Grove of c.1840, formerly Cottage Grove. Although initially built as a chapel, it came to serve the parish of Mile End Old Town in 1841. Its well-preserved churchyard, which closed to burial in 1853, was refurbished in 1886/7 as Holy Trinity Garden by the MPGA. Numerous headstones remain in their original positions with clear inscriptions. The garden has C20th railings set in original Portland stone coping on a parapet wall and there are notable lime trees on the south side of the garden.

Basic Details

Previous / Other name:
New Church of the Covenant; Holy Trinity Garden

Site location:
Morgan Street/Lichfield Road, Bow

E3 5AT ( Google Map)

Type of site:

1830s; 1886/7

MPGA (Fanny Wilkinson)

Listed structures:
LBC: Holy Trinity Church

Tower Hamlets

Site ownership:
New Testament Church of God

Site management:

Open to public?

Opening times:
appears unrestricted access but to check current situation

Special conditions:



Public transport:
Tube: Mile End (District/Central). Bus 25

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2004
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Further Information

Grid ref:

Size in hectares:

Green Flag:

On EH National Register :

EH grade:

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

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:

In Conservation Area:

Conservation Area name:
Tredegar Square

Tree Preservation Order:

Nature Conservation Area:

Green Belt:

Metropolitan Open Land:

Special Policy Area:

Other LA designation:

Holy Trinity Church Graveyard

Holy Trinity Churchyard, April 2004. Photo: S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

Fuller information

Holy Trinity Church was built in 1834-9 to designs of Daniel and James Austin, the site donated by Sir Charles Morgan of Tredegar, who developed Tredegar Square (q.v.), whose family owned much of the land in this area that was the estate of the C18th Essex House. Mile End Old Town had grown up further to the west but gradually expanded eastwards as a result of the development of the docks, leading to construction of Commercial Road and Limehouse Cut. The fields began to be built over for housing from the 1820s; Sir Charles was permitted to build on his land following an Act of Parliament of 1824. By the 1830s there were villas in Rhondda Grove, houses on the eastern part of Morgan Street, on the west side of Aberavon Road and part of Tredegar Square had been completed. In 1847 a Grammar School next to the church was built to serve the new residential population, later replaced by Cooper Company Boys' School in 1909 and now Central Foundation School.

Holy Trinity Church was initially planned as a proprietary chapel, the building costs covered by lawyer E A Dickenson. He ran out of funds in 1836 and it was finally completed by the Metropolis Churches Fund, and became the parish church for Mile End Old Town. The churchyard was closed to burials in 1853 but among those buried here were people connected with shipping and seafaring. One of the more elaborate monuments remaining is that of Eleanor Souttar (d.1839) with a broken column on the north and a draped urn on the south. The MPGA acquired the disused burial ground in 1887 and the new garden was opened by Princess Henry of Battenberg on 9 May 1887, the year of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. Maintenance of the garden was the responsibility of the LCC.

Holy Trinity Church was damaged in WWII and later became redundant, closing in 1984 and suffering vandalism. The garden also became much overgrown and was no longer publicly accessible. In 1996 the New Testament Church of God took over the church, which was repaired in 2001-2, and the churchyard has also been cleared since that time. The NTCG now uses the Church Hall of 1901 on Lichfield Street.

Sources consulted:

Bacon. Bridget Cherry, Charles O'Brien, Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 5: East' (Yale University Press, 2005) p608/9; LB Tower Hamlets 'Tredegar Square Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Guidelines' (2007); Lieut. Col J J Sexby, The Municipal Parks, Gardens and Open Space of London (their History and Associations, Elliott Stock (London, 1895; 1905 edition)

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