London Wall is the old Roman Wall around the City of London. It is also the name of a road. In normal times London Wall is a very busy road, an arterial route in the City, full of buses and cars and bikes, with people thronging the pavements looking at mobile phones. Now it is empty, and you can see the scenery. Here is a view All-Hallows-on-the-Wall, sketched from the opposite pavement, outside Deutsche Bank. The church occupies a narrow site, between the present-day road and the old London Wall.
The “Friends of City Churches” site says: “The previous church on this site escaped destruction in the Great Fire but was rebuilt by George Dance the Younger in 1765/67. He was just 24 years old, but achieved an exquisite small interior of neo-classical simplicity regarded by Betjeman as one of the most successful of the London interiors.”
The Church is only open at certain times, and in the pandemic not atall. It has been the headquarters of various groups seeking to help people. Currently it is the headquarters of “XLP” and has their banners outside. Here is an extract from the XLP website:
“XLP is about creating positive futures for young people growing up on inner-city estates, struggling daily with issues such as family breakdown, unemployment and educational failure, and living in areas that experience high levels of anti-social behaviour and gang violence. Every year XLP helps thousands of young people recognise their full potential. We believe positive, long-term relationships can restore a young person’s trust in people, nurture the belief that things can change and encourage them to set positive goals and work hard to achieve them”
Here is work in progress on the sketch. See how empty the road is.
You can see the old London Wall under the big tree. Here is a picture from over there near the church.
Sketch took about an hour, drawn and coloured on location.