The Three St Botolph ....and the one time swallowed

It was by accident that I stumbled into St Botolph Without Bishopgate church, seeking a moment of peace to gather my thoughts for this challenge.

It wasn't the church it self, it was the reflections on it's glass giant neighbours that gave it away and grabbed my attention.

The belltower is drawfted by its tall neighbour.
Stain Glass Window light up in the summer sun.

Upon entering the church, the first thing that hit me was the sheer emptyness, not one soul in sight in a bright open space. The relentless city rush, the people, chaos, became an immediat, distant memory. The light permeates through the stain glass windows, an illumation of pastel colours. It is a serene place where time stands still.

The rattling of some keys and a man announces himself, the church keeper. His name is Tommy, we speak for while about the history of this church.

'It's a shame you didn't come a year ago' he say, ' I could have shown you the dark crypts'

He tells me they are now used as offices. I find out from him that there is in fact three churches with the same name of St Botolph. All were part of the old city wall. There was a fourh but it burned down during the great fire of London. I get directions from Tommy for the next chuch.

Leaving St Botolph Bishopscate, you are suddenly aware of the concrete and glass that engulfs it..

After a brisk walk, I arrive at the second church, St Boltoph without Aldgate. Like it's Bishopsgate sibling. It too is surounded by relentless developments, cranes and building works surrounding on all sides.

Another empty oasis greets me as I enter. An man aproachs, keys to his side, I recognise that he must be the church keeper. Colin is very friendly, he offers a tour up the bell tower, which I accept with immense pleasure.

Colin, St Botoph Wihout Aldgate church keeper.

It's steep walk, up an never ending spiral staircase. My legs start to wobble. Colins shows me a room,locked under key. He explains this is where the Gay Christinan Group was started and use to meet. It's room stuck in the 1970's. It dusty and smells damp, a desk is lit up by a round window.

We walk further , up more never ending spirals of stairs. He shows me the bell ringing room. It an eery empty place, but I imagine the 8 ringers that still regulary ring the bells

The last St Botolph is a tube ride away to Barbican. I leave in a flurry to complete my expedition. Hiden away is the last of trio. The door is closed and the church firmly shut. I place my lense through the window to take a picture and a man on his way out, envites me in.

I meet the third church keeper Ben and my tour is complete.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.