London – St Magnus the Martyr

The final church I managed was St Magnus the Martyr on Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6DN,  down by the top of the old London Bridge. They have a superb website – – with lots about the history and life of the parish. I would love the music, but it’s a bit too “high” even for me – rather too male! The noticeboard made me smile – I want to be a “Cardinal Rector”, although I want to a proper University! You would probably be wise to stop reading this and look at the virtual tour at

A bishop of London was present at the Council of Arles in 314, but there is no archaeological evidence of any church this early in the City. A grant from William I in 1067 to Westminster Abbey mentioning a stone church of St Magnus next to the bridge is now thought to be a C12 forgery. It was built to the south of Thames Street to serve the growing population of the bridgehead and was certainly in existence by 1130. A stone bridge was completed in 1209, and the church stood at the north end. The model is rather special – every church should have one!

Enjoy lots of other things worth looking at.

There are plenty of places with saints and statues, places where we are encouraged to light candles. I lit a couple in memory of my boys, moved on, and realised a couple of minutes later that they were being blown out as they wanted to lock up and go home!

They had a nice statue of Magnus of Orkney, but the sun was in the wrong place. There is a debate about whether the Magnus of the dedication was the Orkney Magnus – loving Orkney, I like to think he was. I will come back and have another explore sometime soon.

I spent the rest of the day chasing trains. I can now colour in all the Docklands Light Railway and the Circle line (the original circle, not the current teacup shaped line).

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