On a recent trip to London I had some hours to kill and decided to take a look at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Soho Square.
Before the present church building was built it was the site of the Earl of Carlisle’s house. In 1760 it was leased by Mrs Cornelys who had a very interesting life as an opera singer who had a child by Casanova. While Soho Square was a posh area, the surroundings were part of the “Gin Lane” area described by William Hogarth and many of those living in squalor were Irish Catholics. An Irish Franciscan Friar managed to raise funds to lease Carlisle House leading to its eventual consecration and the building of the present church.
I didn’t actually stray too far inside the church as there was a lot of people praying that I didn’t want to disturb and they were also setting up for a service. What I did see looked very impressive though and very bright and airy.
The church houses one of the relics of the Tyburn Martyrs (though I don’t know if it is on open display) and is a stopping place of the procession mourning the martyrs from the Tower of London to Tyburn Convent, which I’ve previously written about here.
It seemed like a nice welcoming space and worth a visit if you’re in the area. You can find some more photos here.