Free sightseeing in London – A Church in Kensington
Just opposite the Kensington High Street tube station a beautiful church in the 13th century English Gothic style. It’s drawn back a bit from the wide pavement in a busy corner of two streets. In front of the church you see a WWI memorial decorated with wreaths of red poppies, the symbol of loss of soldiers in battle and beside that – a flower stand with lots of many kinds of flowers.
The church is called St Mary Abbots
Around the church a small churchyard with very old headstones leaving testimonies of real people who often died too young.
You enter the church through an archway and memorials of the departed are sitting in the walls. A welcoming sign makes you feel warm at heart and want to have a look inside.
For a thousand years a church of that name has been at this sight. The two first were too small so this one was finished 1872 by leading Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Schott. Many things are reused from the former churches.
Famous people have worshipped here like Sir Isaac Newton, Beatrix Potter and the Royal families in former times. When people were mourning Princess Diana they came to this church so close to Kensington Palace where she lived.
In 1944 the church was hit by incendiary bombs from Germany and you will be able to find scorched marks on some pews.
I found information on the church at the church. The Victoria&Albert museum has the world’s largest collection of Beatrix Potter material and you can see the connection between her and the church via their internet page. You will be able to see a good picture of the interior of the church on that homepage.