St John’s, Smith Square
To reach the lovely 900-year-old College Garden, enter Dean’s Yard and the Little Cloisters off Great College St.
While secular medieval buildings are scarce, the Kentish ragstone Jewel Tower opposite the Houses of Parliament dates from 1365.
Westminster Abbey Museum
Located in the vaulted undercroft, the museum exhibits the death masks of generations of royalty, wax effigies representing Charles II...
The brick-vaulted cafe and restaurant in the crypt of St John's Smith Square is a lovely spot for a meal or a coffee. It opens on...
Smith Sq · interesting places nearby
St John’s, Smith Square information
In the heart of Westminster, this eye-catching church was built by Thomas Archer in 1728 under Queen Anne's Fifty New Churches Act (1711), which aimed to build that many new churches for London’s rapidly growing metropolitan area. After receiving a direct hit during WWII, it was rebuilt in the 1960s as a classical music venue, and is renowned for its excellent acoustics.
Though they never did build all 50 churches, St John’s, along with about a dozen others, saw the light of day. Unfortunately, with its four corner towers and monumental facades, the structure was much maligned for the first century of its existence thanks to rumours that Queen Anne likened it to a footstool. Nonetheless, it’s generally agreed now that the church is a masterpiece of English baroque. The brick-vaulted Footstool Restaurant in the crypt is a delightful choice for sustenance or a coffee.