The exterior of St Olave's Church, an old church in the City of London

©Will Jones/Lonely Planet

St Olave's


St Olave’s was built in the mid-15th century and is one of the few churches to have survived the Great Fire. However, it was badly damaged by a bomb in 1941 and substantially restored in 1954. The diarist Samuel Pepys was a parishioner and is buried here – see the elaborately carved memorial high up on the south wall. Dickens called the place ‘St Ghastly Grim’ because of the skulls above the gate to the peaceful little churchyard garden.

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