Into the face of the Sun: Hipsta-Hawksmoor

Nicholas Hawksmoor started working for Sir Christopher Wren (of St Paul’s Cathedral fame) earning two shillings a day on 1685. As a fully fledged architect, Hawksmoor was responsible for designing six post-Fire of London churches that remain some of the finest examples of architecture in London today.

Despite all the leakage, silhouetting, and spots of weird light you get (or perhaps because of them?) I can’t get enough of taking photos facing into the sun.

St Alfege, Greenwich

This is the third church built on the same spot to mark the place where an early Archbishop of Canterbury, St Alfege, was killed by Viking raiders in 1012.

St Mary Woolnoth, City of London

The church where anti-slavery campaigner, William Wilberforce worshipped, is captured in T.S. Eliot’s poem, ‘The Wasteland’, where his description of City workers holds true today 90 years later (I used to walk past this church every day to work):

“And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours”

St Anne’s, Limehouse

To keep the time on the clock correct a signal would be sent from Greenwich (using flags or lights) and then a weight would be dropped to keep the clock in sync with Greenwich.

St George in the East, Wapping

Despite suffering a direct hit from a bomb in the Blitz, the church and its famous ‘pepper pot’ towers stayed standing.

Christ Church, Spitalfields

Spitalfields and this church has always been the invisible border for me where The City meets trendy Shoreditch.

St George’s, Bloomsbury

The most westerly, and last of our trip, of the Hawksmoor Six.

Thanks for joining me on this whistle-stop tour.

Cast in order of appearance

St Alfege, Greenwich

St Mary Woolnoth, City

St Anne’s, Limehouse

St George in the East, Wapping

Christ Church, Spitalfields

St George’s, Bloomsbury

First six photos taken with iPhone using Hipstamatic (John S lens and Alfred Infrared film). Final six photos taken with Canon EOS 550D.


One thought on “Into the face of the Sun: Hipsta-Hawksmoor

  1. Pingback: Seven Wonders of London: Part II – an architectural Smörgåsbord | iago80

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