All Souls Church | Attraction Guides | History Hit

All Souls Church

London, England, United Kingdom

Lily Johnson

08 Mar 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About All Souls Church

Sitting at the northern end of Regent Street, All Souls Church is the last surviving church designed by John Nash, one of London’s most famous and celebrated architects and favourite of King George IV.

All Souls Church history

All Souls Church was designed to provide an eye-catching monument for the spot where Nash’s newly laid out Regent Street took an abrupt bend towards Portland Place. It was completed in December 1823 at a cost of £18,323, and consecrated by the Bishop of London the following year.

Being a Commissioner’s church, it was given a grant of £12,819 by the Church Building Commission towards the cost of building works. Unlike much of Nash’s architecture in London however, including the sweeping terraces of York Gate, Marble Arch, and Clarence House, it wasn’t met with universal praise. Writing in The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction in 1828, a reviewer said “To our eye, the church itself, apart from the tower, (for such it almost is) is perhaps, one of the most miserable structures in the metropolis”. Ouch!

Modern visitors look upon All Souls Church in a far more favourable light, admiring its quirky spiked design and ornate galleried hall.

All Souls Church today

Today All Souls hosts 4 services every Sunday and is open most days for visitors. Designed in the Regency style, the church features a stunning interior space accentuated by gilded faux-marble columns and classical decorations, with a striking white and gold colour scheme. Many find it to be it a place of calm and tranquility in the bustling city, with music from its vast organ often heard throughout.

Its historic exterior also cuts a sharp outline against the modern buildings surrounding it, beguiling passers-by for years. Built of Bath stone, the Grade I listed building is perhaps most famous for its peculiar 12-panelled spire surrounded at the base by a peripteros of Corinthian columns.

Getting to All Souls Church

All Souls Church is located at the top of Regent Street in London. It is a 5-minute walk from Oxford Circus Underground Station, and its nearest bus stop is Margaret Street Oxford Circus (Stop RD), 1 minute away. The nearest train station is a 15-minute walk away at Piccadilly Circus.

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