Building    From 952 

St Dunstans, Stepney

Categories: Religion

Records of this church go back to AD 952. Until the 14th century it was the only church in east London. The existing 15th century building is the third on the site, though it was reclad in 1880s. The porch and octagonal parish room were added in 1872. Suffered some bomb damage in 1945.

The port of London nearby, this church has many associations with sailors and was once known as 'the Church of the High Seas'. Sometimes the red ensign, or 'red duster', the flag of the merchant navy, is flown from the tower. An old tradition is supported by a rhyme: ""He who sails on the wide sea, Is a parishioner of Stepney." Seems the church was happy to enter births at sea into their register, but paupers from distant parts expected it to apply to their ocean-born children as well and there the church drew the line.

".... When will that be, say the bells of Stepney" - that's the bells in this tower speaking.

The church website has a good gallery of historic pictures, and is our picture source, but disappointingly no textual history of the church.

From London Gardens Online: "The churchyard closed for burials in 1854 and most of the tombstones and headstones were removed between 1885 and 1887 when high ground around the church was dug away. The MPGA then converted the burial ground into a public garden ... 1887".

2018: A London Inheritance explores this church, with many images.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
St Dunstans, Stepney

Commemorated ati

St Dunstans gates - 1844

This small plaque is on the inner gate pier to the left of our photo. From Lo...

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St Dunstans gates - 1999

This small plaque is on the inner gate pier to the right of our photo. We li...

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St Dunstans - noticeboards

We were reading this board and deciding it really was not interesting enough ...

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Other Subjects

United Free Methodist church, Hanbury Street

United Free Methodist church, Hanbury Street

Owned the building from 1858 until 1887. During this time works were carried out under the architect C. McJ (or McI) North.

Group, Religion

2 memorials
Rector William Stone

Rector William Stone

Rector of Christ Church Spitalfields between, at least, 1837 - 1845. At Recollections of Spitalfields we learn that Stone went on to become Canon of St. Paul's. We found little information about S...

Person, Religion

2 memorials
Henry Montgomery Campbell, Bishop of London

Henry Montgomery Campbell, Bishop of London

Bishop of London 1956 - 61. His Wikipedia page has many examples of his sharp wit.  Died Westminster Hospital.

Person, Religion

1 memorial
St Michaels Bassishaw

St Michaels Bassishaw

Church first recorded in a document of 1196. Destroyed in the Great Fire, rebuilt by Wren (or his colleagues, at least) and, found to be unsafe, demolished in 1900.

Building, Religion

1 memorial
Basil Hume

Basil Hume

Born Newcastle upon Tyne. Cardinal. Archbishop of Westminster from 1976 until his death. President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales from 1979 until his death, at the Hospita...

Person, Religion

3 memorials