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St. Pancras Old Church

Home > London > Historic Houses | Outdoor
Published October 22nd 2011
St. Pancras Old Church is situated a ten-minute walk from St. Pancras International train station. It's easily found - you simply walk along Pancras Road, which runs up the west side of the station.

You'll soon come to a small set of steps on your right, at the top of which you'll see St Pancras Old Church, identifiable by the beautiful circular window above the main entrance.

The church is actually thought to be located on one of the country's oldest sites of Christian worship.

Parts of the church you see today have been standing since it was first constructed around 1,000 years ago. In the mid-nineteenth century, as more people moved into the local area, a decision was made to restore the building, which by that time was in a decrepit state. Part of the reconstruction work included knocking down the church's tower and replacing it with the one we see today.

The churchyard is one of St. Pancras Old Church's greatest assets, bedecked with a range of mature trees and special features. It's a fine place to come if you're looking for a quiet, shaded place to relax, although you may hear the occasional rumble of the Eurostar trains nearby, shuttling passengers between London and continental Europe.

Be sure not to leave the churchyard without taking a look at the quirky Hardy Tree. To put the Hardy Tree in simple terms, it's basically a large tree around which numerous gravestones are clustered.

It's one of London's more unusual sights, and one which the famous novelist Thomas Hardy had a hand in creating. You can read more about the Hardy Tree here.

There are a few people of note buried here - for example, composer Johann Christian Bach (son of Johann Sebastian Bach), William Franklin (the last colonial governor of New Jersey, and son of Benjamin Franklin), and sculptor John Flaxman.

In more recent times, The Beatles did a photo shoot here in 1968. Beatles fans should click here to see an interesting blog post showing some of the pictures from the photo shoot alongside modern-day photos, with details about where they were all taken.

Although Old St. Pancras Church is close to a busy part of London, it's also hidden away and attracts few tourists, so a visit there can be a relaxing, as well as fascinating, experience.
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Why? The tranquility! It's hard to believe you're in one of the world's biggest cities.
When: 9am until dusk.
Where: St. Pancras Old Church, Pancras Road, London, NW1 1UL
Cost: Free
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