St Anne's Limehouse

St Anne's Limehouse is a Hawksmoor Anglican Church in Limehouse, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It was consecrated in 1730, one of the twelve churches built through the 1711 Act of Parliament.


The church was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, as one of twelve churches built to serve the needs of the rapidly expanding population of London in the 18th century. The scheme never met its original target, but those built were also known as the Queen Anne Churches. This church was consecrated in 1730.

The church was gutted by fire on Good Friday 1850, and restored between 1851 and 1854 by Philip Hardwick. It was further restored by Julian Harrap between 1983 and 1993, when tubular steel trusses were added to support the roof. There is a link to Greenwich time at the top of the tower: a weight falls when a signal comes from Greenwich (line of sight). The church was Grade A listed in 1950. St Anne's has undergone extensive restoration during 2007 and 2008 - the organ has been completely restored and work on the altar and floor area will be completed in early 2009.

The pipe organ in St Anne's won first prize in the Great Exhibition of 1851 at Crystal Palace, and is much prized by musicians. In 2009, the church became the main rehearsal venue for the recently formed Docklands Sinfonia, and occasionally hosts classical concerts. Today, the church remains the parish church of Limehouse, and is within the Diocese of London.

A distinctive pyramid, originally planned to be put atop the tower, now stands in the graveyard, with a cruciform 1918 war memorial of white stone and bronze. They are separately Grade II listed. Limehouse Police Station is nearby. The church is next door to Limehouse Town Hall and close to Limehouse Library, both Grade II listed buildings, the former now used as a community centre. Across the road is the former Sailors' Mission, where Situationist International held its conference in 1960.

The nearest Docklands Light Railway station is Westferry.

Building Activity

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