St. James's Church

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St. James's Church

Bombed by the German Luftwaffe in 1940 and not restored until 1954, this was one of the last of Sir Christopher Wren's London churches—and his favorite. Completed in 1684, it contains one of the finest works by the master carver Grinling Gibbons (1648–1721): an ornate limewood reredos (the screen behind the altar). The church is a lively place, with all manner of lectures and concerts (some are free). A café occupies a fine location right alongside the church, while a small, sedate garden is tucked away at the rear. The market out front is full of surprises; come Tuesday for antiques, Wednesday–Saturday for arts and crafts.

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