A Walk Beyond Time And Place
The London churches of 18th century architect Nicholas Hawksmoor churches have historically and fictionally been connected to London’s most famous crimes. Authors like Iain Sinclair, Peter Ackroyd and Alan Moore have suggested that the buildings have influenced their surroundings and its population and were responsible for the crimes.
A self-guided walk along the East End churches of the “devil’s architect”
On this walk we will cover the historical and the fictional crimes surrounding his notorious East End churches.
The area around St-George-in-the-East is where the gruesome Ratcliffe Highway Murders were committed in 1811. Christ Church, Spitalfields, is the geographical centre of the Jack the Ripper murders in 1888. So could there be a bit of truth in the allegation that Hawksmoor’s churches have influenced their surroundings and the people living there? Did Hawksmoor transport unknown energies and forces from ancient, pagan cultures to the London of the 18th century by including ancient, pagan symbols in his Christian churches? And the most important question is: did he do it on purpose?
The walk also includes fictional accounts of the crimes attributed to the churches by writers Iain Sinclair, Peter Ackroyd and Alan Moore. Who knows, maybe you will feel the buildings’ influence on you…
Start: Limehouse Town Hall (Closest DLR stations: Limehouse and Westferry)
End: Spitalfields Market on Commercial Street (Closest Underground station: Liverpool Street)
Duration: Approximately 2 h 30 minutes
The self-guided Hawksmoor Walk includes:
- A walk through the former dock area of Limehouse, including the locations of Peter Ackroyd’s novel “Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem“
- A 16th century Limehouse pub, which is now owned by a very famous actor
- The famous “Prospect of Whitby” pub in Wapping, where Judge Jeffreys watched the hangings of the many condemned that were strung up at the Thames and left dangling while three tides washed over them
- A visit to the sites of the gruesome Ratcliffe Highway Murders from 1811
- Christ Church, Spitalfields, which was a daily sight for the women murdered by “Jack the Ripper”