On Our Doorstep
With two of London’s most renowned visitor attractions, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge right on our doorstep, explore the area to find plenty of hidden gems just moments away from Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square.
ST OLAVE’S CHURCH
Located just behind the Hotel on the corner of Hart Street and Seething Lane, St Olave’s is one the smallest churches in the City and one of only a handful of medieval City Churches that escaped the Great Fire of London on 1666. Along with his men from the nearby naval yards, William Penn Senior blew up the houses surrounding the church to create a firebreak. The flames came within 100 yards of the Church but a sudden wind direction saved the building and several others on the Eastern side of the City.
The diarist Samuel Pepys – whose house and Royal Navy office were located on Seething Lane – regularly worshipped here. In 1660 he had a gallery built on the Southside of the church along with an outside stairwell so that he could go to church without a soaking from the rain. The gallery is now a memorial marking the location of the stairway’s door. Both Pepys and his beloved wife Elisabeth are buried in the nave of the church. Open weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, St Olave’s is the perfect spot for quiet reflection away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Concierge Team can advise on regular lunchtime concerts and recitals.
Trinity House, built in 1796, is our nearest neighbour on Trinity Square. The Corporation – to this day dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafaring – first began in 1514 by Royal Charter granted by Henry VIII as a result of a petition put forward by mariners based just down the river in Deptford. The first Master of Trinity House was Thomas Spert, sailing master and Henry’s flagship Mary Rose. The name of the guild derives from the Holy Trinity and St Clement, the patron saint of mariners. Masters since Thomas Spert have included the diarist Samuel Pepys and the Duke of Wellington, while Winston Churchill had a Trinity House vessel named after him, the THV Winston Churchill. Contact our Concierge for a tour of Trinity House.
TRINITY SQUARE GARDENS
Located just in front of our Hotel, Trinity Square Gardens was once the site of the Tower Hill scaffold site, where a confirmed 125 people met their fate, the last in 1747 – look out for the stone set in the paving indicating the site of the former scaffold. Now a more peaceful spot, parts of the wall enclosing the Roman settlement of Londinium can be found nearby as well as Edwin Lutyens’ Tower Hill Memorial built in 1928 and dedicated to the almost 24,000 merchant sailors who died in both world wars and have no known grave. Wander around the memorials, discover the Roman wall or simply join nearby workers who flock to the Gardens on sunny days during their lunch breaks.
ALL HALLOWS BY THE TOWER
Founded by the Abbey of Barking in 675 AD – 300 years before the Tower of London – All Hallows by the Tower is the oldest church in the Square Mile. An arch from the original Saxon church can still be seen today. In the crypt beneath is a second century Roman pavement, discovered in 1926, evidence of city life on this site for nearly two thousand years. William Penn Junior was baptised in the church and educated in the old schoolroom while John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States, was married in All Hallows in 1797. The Church suffered extensive bomb damage during World War II and only the tower and walls remained. After the war, the church was rebuilt and rededicated in 1957. Visit the Crypt Museum or take one of the guided tours – available weekdays from 2:00 pm to 2:00 am between April and October.
ST DUNSTAN’S IN THE EAST
Located just a short walk from the Hotel on St Dunstan’s Hill is St Dunstan’s in the East. Originally built around 1100 in gothic style, the Church was severely damaged in the Great Fire of London. Rather than being completely rebuilt, the damaged church was patched up and a steeple designed by Sir Christopher Wren – of St Paul’s Cathedral fame – was added. Suffering substantial damage during World War II, it was decided to not rebuild the church; however Wren’s tower and steeple survived intact along with its north and south walls. Now a beautiful public garden with trees within the ruins and a fountain sitting in the middle of former nave, St Dunstan’s in the East is perhaps one of the Square Mile’s most peaceful spots.