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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

Explore the Tower's hidden church

13th January 2012

Culture vultures looking to take in the lesser-known and more intimate parts of the capital have been advised to explore one of London's smaller museum's by the Londonist.

The lifestyle magazine highlighted All Hollows By The Tower, ideal for those in luxury accommodation in London.

A small distinctive church near the Tower of London, the venue traces its origins to 675 AD when it was used as an outpost of Barking Abbey.

A mishmash of different architectural styles from across the centuries, the church has been rebuilt many times since its inception but still retains its Saxon arch - thought to be the oldest part of a church in the city.

"All Hallows by the Tower is the oldest church in the City of London and a living church serving today's City community," explains the site's caretakers.

In the bowels of the church rests the crypt, which houses the tiny All Hallows Crypt Museum.

"The Crypt Museum leads you on a fascinating journey through time, beginning with the Roman tesselated floor of a domestic house in the late 2nd century and charting the history of the church, its people and the City of London," added the group.

History buffs will be flocking to central London hotels when they hear that the crypt is part of the original Saxon church and houses a rare collection of historic artefacts.

The venue also served as the official church for much of the business at the Tower, with entries in ledgers recording the baptism of Pennsylvania-founder William Penn, the marriage of John Quincy-Adams and the burial of Archbishop William Laud, among other notable names.

"Elsewhere, the museum contains impressive silver plate from the 17th century, numerous potsherds and stone remnants, and artefacts," enthused the Londonist.

"Most bizarre is a crow's nest belonging to one of Ernest Shackleton's ships. A couple of attractive chapels complete the crypt."


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