St Clement Danes Church in London is one of a group of churches that I had time to photograph but not go inside and visit properly (and which I do intend to rectify when I’m next in the area). The first church on the site was built by the Danes (hence the name) but the church that stands there now is a 17th century Christopher Wren design.
It is the official church of the Royal Air Force; having been severely damaged during the Blitz in 1941 the Royal Air Force appealed for funds to rebuild it and it was reconsecrated in 1958, serving as a permanent shrine to those killed on active service during and after the Second World War.
Constructed from Portland stone (like St Paul’s Cathedral and the Royal Courts of Justice) between 1680 and 1682 the steeple was added later, in 1719, by James Gibbs (who designed St Martin-in-the-Fields Church and which will be the focus of a future post).
Outside of the church are a series of statues, two of which are those of the RAF’s wartime leaders – Arthur “Bomber” Harris and Hugh Dowding.
The other statue at the front of the church is of William Gladstone, four times prime minister. The statue was built in 1905 and shows him surrounded by Education, Brotherhood, Aspiration and Courage.
There is one more statue outside of the church, around the back, this time of Samuel Johnson, creator of the English dictionary and whose house is nearby (and which will be the focus of the next post).
A lovely church you can see some more of my photos here.