Haksmoor, finally

christ-church-3.jpgSt. George-in-the-East was third church I visited and by this time I was tired. So tired. The sun was heading toward the horizon and I really wanted to be out of east London before it set; my little pothead friends had been sweet but there’s a difference between being open minded and just being stupid.

My next church was Christ Church Spitalfields, the pinnacle of Hawksmoor architecture. It’s a forbidding church, it looms over the Spitalfields market across the street, aloof and judgmental. Mary Kelly was killed right around the corner from here, the last of the Whitechapel victims. She and her friends would frequent the Ten Bells Pub right next door.

The gates to the church were closed and I couldn’t get into the yards (tours are only offered on weird days, like every other Tuesday that doesn’t fall on an odd day and only if it’s sunny), but the church’s aura is real. It’s creepy. It’s occult. It’s just… I’m at a loss. You just need to visit it.

I hadn’t eaten since I’d left my flat and I was starving. I had notions of inducing a mystical experience by fasting, but pretty much all I induced was light-headedness and a tumble over by St. Anne’s. I thought I could remain loyal to the spirit of the day if I ate at the Ten Bells, but it was crowded with tourists. It’s a stop on Jack the Ripper walking tours (there’s a list on the wall with the names of the ripper victims and one added to prove some magical working theory). So I decided to move on without eating. It was getting darker anyway.

It was a mile to St. Mary’s Woolnoth. I’d run across this church by accident a couple weeks before while walking to the Bank tube stop from Trafalgar Square. I was about to descend underground when the building caught my eye. I remember thinking, “What the hell kind of building is that??”

St. Mary’s is the only Hawksmoor church within the actual City of London. It’s really got no churchyard at all, standing amongst the buildings in the city’s financial heart. By time I was there that night it was, indeed, night and my pictures are lacking.

I didn’t spend too much time there; there wasn’t much to see. And I was exhausted and hungry and losing the Hawksmoor magic. All I could think about was seeing the Bloomsbury church and sitting down at a nice restaurant. I had to pee too.

It was really dark by time I reached St. George Bloomsbury. The gates were closed and I could barely see anything. I decided I really needed to go back there during the day sometime, but that was besides the point. I had made it! I walked to every one of Hawksmoor’s churches. I had followed the ley lines or the Eye of Horus or whatever, walked all over east London and made it out alive. Amen and hallelujah.


~ by kellly333 on March 13, 2007.

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