St Dunstan and All Saints Churchyard in Stepney High Street
St Dunstan and All Saints Churchyard in Stepney High Street
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St Dunstan and All Saints Churchyard in Stepney High Street
SC_PHL_01_399_HK4644 (Collage 120369)
London Metropolitan Archives: LCC Photograph Library
A view along Whitehorse Road, Stepney, taken from Belgrave Street, with St Dunstan and All Saints Churchyard on the left. A low brick wall topped with cast iron railings surrounds large trees. St Dunstan's is a Gothic church, with square bell tower founded in the tenth century. The present church was erected in the fifteenth century from Kentish ragstone, and refurbished in the late nineteenth century. Known as 'The Mother Church of the East End' and, because of long traditional links with the sea and many sailor burials, as 'The Church of the High Seas'; it still flies a red ensign. The church bells were cast in the Whitechapel Bell Foundry from 1806, are tuned to C, and are mentioned in the nursey rhyme 'Oranges and Lemons' - 'when will that be said the bells of Stepney'. The churchyard itself, nearly seven acres in size, was enlarged after 1660 to cope with the massive number of deaths during the Great Plague of London. On the right are the walled gardens of Lady Jane Micro's Almshouses which are just visible behind the trees. The Almshouses were originally built for ten widows in 1691 by the Mercer's Company and rebuilt in 1856. They have been private residences since 1970. There is a lamp post on an island with black and white World War II blackout stripes in the foreground. The buildings in the background have been demolished and the Ocean Children's Centre now occupies the site.
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