St Etheldreda's

in Clerkenwell, Shoreditch & Spitalfields

More than just a gorgeous oasis of peace, this stunner of a church is also the oldest Roman Catholic church in the UK, dating from the reign of Edward I. The town chapel of the Bishops of Ely dates from the mid-13th century to 1570 and is named after the 7th-century East Anglian princess and Fenland saint Etheldreda. The church was saved during the Great Fire of London by an abrupt change in the wind.

The church was hit in WWII by a Luftwaffe bomb that came through the roof during the Blitz and put paid to its surviving stained glass; the beautiful great east window was replaced in 1952.