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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
16th January 1906 Born today: Diana Winyard, London, actress (Cavalcade)
16th January 1794 Edward Gibbon, historian (Decline and Fall), dies in London at 56
16th January 1759 British Museum opens in London
Lily among the weeds
Distinguished church where the vicars drop down dead.
Location: Vauxhall Bridge Road, Pimlico , SW1V 2PS
Description: In 1859 three tenacious sisters Jane, Penelope and Mary decided to honour the memory of their father Bishop Monk by building a church here in one of the poor parts of London. There is a plaque to them inside the church.
The Monk sisters managed to persuade Westminster Abbey to give them some land and they immediately commissioned Bristol Cathedral's architect George Edmund Street.
The building is now Grade 1 listed.
Back in 1917, Canon Thorndike was the vicar here, and his daughter was the famous screen actress Dame Sybill Thorndike. One night in October 1917, Canon Thorndike announced the opening hymn to the congregation gathered before him and then dropped down dead beside the font. Another vicar died the same way - Geoffrey Pollard, in September 1986 after conducting an evening service.
Poet Sir John Betjeman helped to save the church from closure in the 1960's.