All Hallows by the Tower
- All Hallows by the Tower is the oldest church in the City of London, founded in 675
- Recounts the church’s history and its role in momentous historical events
All Hallows, situated close to the Tower of London, has a long, rich and chequered history. Four hundred years before William the Conqueror built the Tower, the first Saxon church stood on the site where previously Romans had lived. In later centuries the church played its part in momentous historical events: the trial of Knights Templar, the execution of St John Fisher and Sir Thomas More, a narrow escape from the Great Fire of London and a miraculous resurrection after grievous damage during the Blitz.
All Hallows’ rebuilding was spearheaded by the Revd Philip Byard Clayton, known as ‘Tubby’ and vicar for 40 years. He was famous also as the founder of Toc H, which grew from a homely house offering respite to soldiers in World War One to become an international Christian movement.
Situated on the once-busy docks of the Thames, at the heart of the world’s busiest port, All Hallows also has timeless bonds with the sea. These are reflected in its Mariners’ Chapel with its lovely stained glass and fine models of sailing ships.