The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 28 Bank of England, Royal Exchange, Mansion House

St Stephen's Church

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In Walbrook, just behind the Mansion House, is the church of ST. STEPHEN, rebuilt by Wren in 1672-79. The noble Interior (open daily 12-3, except Saturday), with its circular dome (63 feet high) supported on eight arches, is one of the architect's masterpieces, though some unfortunate alterations were made in 1888. The dome represents, on a smaller scale, Wren's original design for St. Paul's. On the north wall is the Stoning of St. Stephen, a good example of Benjamin West. Tablets commemorate John Dunstable (died 1453), 'the father of English harmony' (West end of the south wall), and John Lilburne (died 1657), the political agitator (on the pillar to the right of the altar). In the vaults lies Sir John Vanbrugh (1664-1726), the playwright and architect of Blenheim Palace ('Lie heavy on him, Earth, for he Laid many a heavy load on thee').