Christ Church Greyfriars
Image by Morgaine
Christ Church Greyfriars, also known as Christ Church Newgate, was an Anglican church located on Newgate Street, opposite St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London. Built first in the gothic style, then in the English Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren, it ranked among the City’s most notable pieces of architecture and places of worship. The church was destroyed in the Second World War; the ruins are now a public garden.
In 1949, in a reorganization of Church of England parishes in London, authorities decided not to rebuild Christ Church. In 1954, its parish was merged with that of the nearby St Sepulchre-without-Newgate. The spire, still standing after the wartime fire, was disassembled in 1960 and put back together using modern construction methods. The surviving east wall was demolished in 1962 to make way for a widening of King Edward Street. In 1981, neo-Georgian brick offices were constructed against the southwest corner of the ruins, in imitation of the 1760 vestry house that had been in that place. In 1989, the former nave area became a public garden and memorial. The tower functioned as commercial space.
In 2002, the financial firm Merrill Lynch completed a regional headquarters complex on land abutting to the north and the west. In conjunction with that project, the Christ Church site got a major renovation and archeological examination. Construction workers put King Edward Street back to its former course so that the site regained its pre-war footprint. The churchyard was spruced up, its metal railings restored. In 2006, work was completed to convert the tower and spire into a modern twelve-level private residence. The nave area continues as a memorial; the wooden font cover, topped by a carved angel, can today be seen in the porch of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate.