Monday, May 13, 2013

The London Musician’s Church


St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate, also known as “The Musicians’ Church”, is the largest parish church in the City of London. It is best known as the National Musicians Church, due to its excellent and thriving musical tradition, having links with many music colleges and institutions, providing an important venue for musical events and a centre for musicians. Also, this church, due to its relations with music, has a Musician’s Chapel, where Sir Henry Wood’s ashes lay (founder of the Promenade Concerts) and where numerous memorials to musicians are found.




The church has an important history dating back to 1137. Built on the site of a Saxon church dedicated to St. Edmund, the church became known as St. Edmund and the Holy Sepulchre during the years 1103 to 1173, when it was in the care of Augustinian Canons, who were Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. Later, the name became abbreviated to “St. Sepulchre”. Rebuilt and much enlarged in 1450, the walls, tower and porch survive from that period. Badly damaged in the Great Fire of 1666, the interior was restored in 1670 and has been much altered since.




The church is the final resting place of Captain John Smith, first Governor of Virginia (USA), buried in the church in 1633. However, St. Sepulchre is also known for its links with the Old Bailey, reminding us of the age of capital punishment. Also the church contains the Regimental Chapel of the Royal Fusiliers. 



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