This London church has been named one of the UK’s most famous abandoned buildings

London’s architectural history tells a long and fascinating story of how the city grew from a marshy Roman settlement into the sprawling metropolis it is today. One of the most telling indicators as to how long our beloved London has been around is through its abandoned buildings – and there are more of them around than you’d think. 

One of those buildings has just made it onto a list of the most famous abandoned places in the entire UK. St Dunstan-in-the-East is an eleventh-century church – or the remains of one, at least – which is now a public park tucked away cosily in great contrast to the City of London’s surrounding skyscrapers.

St Dunstan’s is an ancient oasis where trees grow through the former windows and vines climb the walls, but the site hasn’t always been such a tranquil haven. The church’s namesake, St Dunstan, was a tenth-century monk who allegedly survived brushes with dark magic and leprosy before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury. He even had a run-in with the devil… according to Secret London.  

The Great Fire of London and the Blitz were both responsible for the detororiation of the original church building, which the Anglican church considered too much of a hassle to rebuild back in 1967. It was subsequently turned into the park we know today. 

Clearly, all that wondrous heritage gives this place a certain draw. It ranks as the second most famous abandoned building in the UK. According to research carried out by Alan Boswell Landlord Building Insurance, St Dustan-in-the-East boasts three million views on TikTok and 20,700 tags on Instagram. 

It was beat to ‘most famous’ by Whitby Abbey in Yorkshire, which has a whopping 4.4 million views on TikTok and 111,000 Instagram tags. In third place was Crumlin Road Courthouse and Gaol in Belfast, while fourth was North Wales Hospital in Denbigh and fifth was Newsham Park Hospital in Liverpool.  

So, if you’re in the City of London and need a break from the bustle of bankers, pop into St Dunstan! Find out more about the abandoned church with our Time Out guide here

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