Today St. Clement Danes serves as the central church of the Royal Air Force, yet its rich and varied history stretches back several hundred years before it assumed this role. The grand Anglican Church was completed in 1682 by England's most famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren, but was severely damaged during the Blitz. Its restoration in 1958 saw its dedication to the air force. Monuments, memorials, and celebrations of the air force can be found everywhere, from the floor inscribed with the badges of over 800 RAF formations, to the gallery of Queen's Colours and Standards. Make sure to visit the statues of Arthur Harris and Hugh Dowding outside, two of the RAF's wartime leaders. Using our custom trip planner, London attractions like St. Clement Danes can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Tours to St. Clement Danes
Big Bus London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $45
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Private Group: Historical Pub Walking Tour of London BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $27
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St. Clement Danes Reviews
After the fire of London, Christopher Wren was commissioned to design more than 50 “replacement” churches in the city. Perched on a slender shard of land in the middle of The Strand, St. Clement Danes... more »
La chiesa di St. Clement Danes (San Clemente dei Danesi nella denominazione italiana) è situata, come St. Mary Le Strand, in un'area interna fra due carreggiate dello Strand. Benché si abbiano testimo... more »The church of St. Clement Danes is located, like St. Mary Le Strand, in an inland area between two lanes of the Strand. Although there have been testimonies of a place of worship on this site since the 9th century (hence the dedication to the then reigning Danes), the church has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times, the last since the Second World War, and has a fundamental appearance Christopher Wren's architectural style. On the whole it looks like a church of medium interest, with a beautiful bell tower and a modern and finished interior, but on the whole little suggestive. Other reasons of interest of the church are the dedication to the Royal Air Force, of which it is one of the landmarks, and the nursery rhyme that begins with the verse "Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's", well known in England and also remembered by Orwell (one of the rare touches of lightness in the gloomy dystopia of 1984). It seems that at intervals the church bells sound the tune, but personally I did not happen to hear them.
Very unpleasant experience in this church today. I have traveled all the way from Kimbolton and stayed at my HM Forces club near Waterloo hoping to get a rest from some spiritual and emotional difficulties I have recently had to cope with alone. On entering this "place or worship" and wanting to hopefully strengthen my dwindling faith over recent times, I had two nervous looking people rush over to me as if I was about to ransack the place and was asked to leave. I have now left London and nearly back home wishing I had not made the mistake in looking for support where I knew already there was unlikely to be any.
Very famous Wren Church, the Central Church of the RAF on the Strand. Almost totally destroyed by German bombing. Pictures are Sir Archie McIndoe's chair, the history of the RAF and picture taken in the Nave towards the Altar. Squadron badges are inserted in the floor.
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