Hawksmoor part deux


If you google map the distance between Greenwich and Bloomsbury, where the western-most Hawksmoor church sits, it’s 7.6 miles. I figured that wasn’t too bad. Of course I didn’t think about how google mapped it in generally a straight line while I would be walking from point to point in a less than straight line. I think it was about 3 miles from Greenwich to Limehouse, a mile and a half from Limehouse to Shadwell, 1 1/4 miles from Shadwell to Spitalfields, another mile from Spitalfields to Bank, and then 1 3/4 miles from Bank to Bloomsbury. That ends up being 8 and a half miles, which isn’t too much more than the google maps estimate, but when you throw in walking around the church grounds I was pushing 10 miles. I’m just saying, that’s kind of far.

The next stop on my pilgramage was St Anne’s Limehouse. I crossed under the Greenwich footpath and walked up the western edge of the Isle of Dogs. It seemed longer than I thought it would, if only because there wasn’t too much to see. Most of the Isle of Dogs has become gentrified, with new housing complexes littering Westferry Rd where I was walking. New ugly housing complexes. Seriously, I’ve never seen such ugly housing complexes.

I finally made my way up to the Canary Wharf area, which is just as gentrified as anywhere else but at least it’s kind of pretty by the water. I watched the river go by from above for a while, calming, washing away the grime and the vampires.

Next I had to cross some traffic to get off the peninsula and into Limehouse: through a traffic circle and down an on-ramp on narrow pedestrian sidewalks. As the third double decker bus whizzed by less than a foot to my left I looked up and in the distance saw a grey steeple looming over the rest of the buildings and I knew it was St Anne’s Limehouse. There was nothing else it could be. I didn’t need a map; I just followed the steeple.

I made my way towards the church until finally the only thing separating us was a boarded up construction area. I looked through holes in the boards and could see it for the first time in full. I know it was all in my head. I KNOW. But damn, it looked creepy.

I turned and took a step forward and pitched forward, stumbling onto my hands and knees. I’d missed a step down from the curb, which, if you know me, you know isn’t that strange. But a little pebble had embedded itself deep into my palm when i fell. I had to pull it out and as I did blood flowed from the wound like stigmata, I thought. Like stigmata? Do Anglicans even believe in stigmata? I laughed at myself, but nervously.

I entered the churchyard from the side, wondering if I was even supposed to be there. The gate was open, though, and no one told me to leave.

Graves and monuments stood in the yard amidst pebbles and green grass. The area in back of the church, where the congregation entered, was locked off so I wandered around to the front. I stopped walking to look at the church and jumped as I found myself nearly leaning on a tomb. I haven’t been afraid of tombs since I was a baby. As a kid I used to beg my parents to take me to the mausoleums at Pine Lawn on Long Island. But this entire place gave me the heebie jeebies.

On the other side of the church was the monument that is likely responsible for Hawksmoor’s notoriety and occult status. Next to a tree on the west side of the church is a stone pyramid, about 9 feet tall. It’s smooth on all sides except for the one facing south, which has some sort of crest carved into it and, above that, the words, “The Wisdom of Solomon”. There’s no reason for it to be there. It doesn’t belong if that makes any sense. But it’s sure as hell there.

I took lots of pictures of the pyramid. I walked around the grounds some more and then came back and took more pictures of the pyramid. I looked at some of the graves and then went back to the pyramid. I touched it. Nothing happened. I took more pictures.


Finally I left through the front gate. Directly across Commercial Road from the church is a decrepit building with a faded sign advertising a garage. And on either side of the sign are two big 777‘s. Probably just the street number, but still. Weird.

I began walking towards Shadwell and a block from the church was a housing estate (the very British term for the projects). Next to the estate was a boarded off area and on the far side of the log was a grafitti eye. Was it the Eye of Horus? Was it some disaffected kid from the projects tapping into the church’s energy, into the ley lines and occult powers running through the area? Was it a coincidence? In the shadow of the church my mind made connections and inferences that seem inane now but made absolute sense then.


Next: I make friends with some high teenagers. But you’ll have to wait until Tuesday because I’ll be in Paris for the weekend… I’m sure that will be another post.


~ by kellly333 on February 23, 2007.

One Response to “Hawksmoor part deux”

  1. Paris for the weekend??? I’m so envious! Enjoy!!!!!

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