Thursday Doors – St Leonards Church, Shoreditch

Journey To Ambeth

This little green door stands in the porch of St Leonard’s Church, Shoreditch, one of London’s oldest churches.

The original church is thought to date back to Saxon times, but was rebuilt in the early 1700’s after the steeple became unstable, resulting in the glorious building you see today. And if you’re familiar with the nursery rhyme ‚Oranges and Lemons‘, you’ll know how the bells sound – St Leonard’s is the church referred to in the line, ‚When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch.‘

There is a story, we were told, that Shakespeare was partially inspired to write Romeo and Juliet while in the church. However, I’ve been unable to find any corroboration for this and, as the building in its current state was created long after Shakespeare’s death, it’s most likely untrue. However, it doesn’t detract from the church’s strong theatrical history – there are several notable…

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