All Hallows-by-the-Tower, London
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The undercroft museum is utterly fascinating. There is a model showing London at the time of the Romans, the Roman mosaic, still in place, Saxon crosses discovered ion the site, church plate, a barrel used as a crows nest by Sir Ernest Shackleton on his last Arctic voyage, and a huge metal hoist used to lift the Grinling Gibbons font cover off the font.
A History of Hidden Records
One fascinating object is a beautifully carved lead-lined cistern, dated to 1705. Sometime in the early 18th century one of the vicars must have decided that he wouldn't risk the sort of damage that the Great Fire of London caused. Or perhaps he was wary of the religious turmoil of the day. Whatevr the reason, he hid all the parish registers and vestry minutes inside the cistern and placed the cistern in the tower. There it stood, untouched, for over 200 years until the documents were disacovered by chance in 1923. And that is why we can now read the entries for Adam's marriage, Penn's baptism, and so on.
The church is normally open daylight hours. I can highly recommend a visit; it is within a few steps of the Tower of London, and well worth a detour to enjoy.
About All Hallows-by-the-Tower
Address: Byward Street, London, Greater London, England, EC3R 5BJ
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Website: All Hallows-by-the-Tower
Phone: (020)7 481 2928
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Nearest station: Tower Hill - 0.1 miles (straight line) - Zone: 1
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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