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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
23rd April 1959 1st heliport in Britain opens in London
23rd April 1925 1st London performance of operetta Fasquita staged
23rd April 1881 Gilbert and Sullivan's opera Patience produced in London
23rd April 1775 Artist J.M.W. Turner was born in Covent Garden, London.
23rd April 1705 Richard Steele's Tender Husband, premieres in London
23rd April 1702 The Coronation of Anne I in Westminster Abbey.
23rd April 1685 The Coronation of James II (and VII of Scotland) in Westminster Abbey.
23rd April 1661 English king Charles II crowned in London
23rd April 1661 The Coronation of Charles II in Westminster Abbey.
St Brides Wedding Cake
Wren's ancient church who rebuild inspired tiered wedding cakes
Location: Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 8AU
Description: St Bride's is named after St Bridget (Bride) of Kildare, of the 5th century ad, and is the eighth church to stand on this site.
The present church was rebuilt after the Great Fire by Sir Christopher Wren in 1671-78 and was his second most costly church after St Mary-le-bow.
The layered spire rises 226 feet and was added in 1701. Originally 8 feet higher until the top was lost in a thunder storm in 1764. It inspired the modern wedding cake, when a local baker, William Rich, modelled a wedding cake for his daughter on the spire. Other bakers soon followed suit and the spire has been known as the 'wedding-cake steeple' ever since.
Wartime bombing in 1940 badly damaged it, and during renovations in the crypt the remains of a Roman house were found. These and other artefacts in the crypt museum tell the story of the church. Among the exhibits is a lockable coffin from the 18th century when body-snatching was commonplace.