Quiz about London Churches
Quiz about London Churches

London Churches Trivia Quiz

Even for those of us with no religious belief, London's churches are important landmarks and many are architectural masterpieces. Can you recognize a few central London churches?

A matching quiz by TabbyTom. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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4 mins
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Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
7 / 10
Top 10% Quiz
Mobile instructions: Press on an answer on the right. Then, press on the gray box it matches on the left.
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. In a former market square: associated with the acting profession.  
St John's, Smith Square
2. In Cheapside: its bells traditionally define a Cockney.  
St Margaret's, Westminster
3. In Fleet Street: known for its "wedding cake" spire.  
St Clement Danes
4. In the Tower of London: contains the graves of two wives of Henry VIII.  
St Peter-ad-Vincula
5. In Trafalgar Square: original home of a chamber orchestra.  
St Bride's
6. The parish church of the House of Commons.  
St Sepulchre's
7. In the Strand: associated with the Royal Air Force.  
St Martin in the Fields
8. War-damaged church in Westminster, restored and used as a concert hall.  
Temple Church
9. Round church in a lawyers' enclave in the City.  
St Mary-le-Bow
10. Diagonally opposite the Old Bailey; once played a part in executions.  
St Paul's, Covent Garden

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In a former market square: associated with the acting profession.

Answer: St Paul's, Covent Garden

The church dates from the early 1630s and was designed by Inigo Jones. The Covent Garden area has always been associated with the theatre: the old "patent theatres" (whose present-day descendants are the Royal Opera House and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane) were in the neighbourhood. A number of prominent theatrical figures have been buried in the church, and many more are commemorated by plaques on the walls. The lessons at services are often read by well-known actors

The portico features in the opening scene of George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" and its musical spin-off "My Fair Lady". Eliza Doolittle is there trying to sell her flowers, which she has presumably bought in the flower market which used to occupy part of the adjacent square.
2. In Cheapside: its bells traditionally define a Cockney.

Answer: St Mary-le-Bow

A Cockney, i.e. a true Londoner, is traditionally defined as being "born within the sound of Bow Bells". The church is approximately at the centre of the ancient "square mile" of the City, but few Londoners today will hear the bells.

Today's church is largely a twentieth-century reconstruction: Sir Christopher Wren's building was destroyed in World War II. Wren's church in turn replaced a medieval building that was burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666.
3. In Fleet Street: known for its "wedding cake" spire.

Answer: St Bride's

Fleet Street and St Bride's Church have been closely associated with the print trade since the late fifteenth century, when William Caxton's former apprentice Wynkyn de Worde set up a press close to the church. For most of the twentieth century many national newspapers were produced in or near Fleet Street.

There has been a church on the site since the very early days of Christianity in England. Remains of earlier buildings can be seen in a museum in the crypt.

The conventional tiered wedding cake is said to have been the brainchild of a local pastrycook called Thomas Rich, who drew his inspiration from the tiered spire of St Bride's. However, there are varying accounts about where and when Mr Rich lived.
4. In the Tower of London: contains the graves of two wives of Henry VIII.

Answer: St Peter-ad-Vincula

The chapel is largely a sixteenth-century building within the Tower of London, but there was a chapel on the site before the Tower was built. Many notable people who were executed on Tower Green are buried here, including Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Lady Jane Grey and the Duke of Monmouth.
5. In Trafalgar Square: original home of a chamber orchestra.

Answer: St Martin in the Fields

The present church was built in the 1720s, though the parish existed as early as the twelfth century.

It has long-standing connections with the royal family. King George I was a churchwarden, and Queen Mary (the consort of George V) attended its services regularly. Nell Gwynne, the mistress of Charles II, was buried here, but the exact site of her grave is no longer known.

During and after World War I the rector, Dick Sheppard, threw open the crypt to provide shelter for homeless ex-servicemen and others, and the church has continued to work for the welfare of destitute Londoners.

In 1958 John Churchill, the Master of Music at St Martin's, and the violinist Neville Marriner founded the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, a chamber orchestra which nowadays performs all over the world but still gives concerts at the church.
6. The parish church of the House of Commons.

Answer: St Margaret's, Westminster

The first church on this site, alongside Westminster Abbey and opposite the Houses of Parliament, was founded in the twelfth century, rebuilt around 1500 and has been restored many times since. The Commons declared it to be their parish church in 1614.

Besides Parliamentary occasions, the church has also been a favourite venue for society weddings: Winston Churchill and Harold Macmillan were both married in St Margaret's.
7. In the Strand: associated with the Royal Air Force.

Answer: St Clement Danes

There has been a church on this site since before the Norman conquest, but nobody really knows why it is associated with the Danes, who overran much of England in Anglo-Saxon times.

The church was severely damaged during World war II. The Royal Air Force and the air forces of many allied countries contributed to its reconstruction, and the church has therefore become "the central church of the RAF".

Among the past rectors commemorated there is the Reverend William Webb-Ellis, who in his schooldays is popularly supposed to have invented the game of rugby.
8. War-damaged church in Westminster, restored and used as a concert hall.

Answer: St John's, Smith Square

St John's was the most expensive of the fifty new churches which Parliament ordered to be built in the rapidly expanding metropolis in the reign of Queen Anne. Its design, with a tower at each of its four corners, has inspired great dislike in some quarters: Dickens described it as like "some petrified monster, frightful and gigantic, on its back with its legs sin the air". Largely destroyed in World War II, it was rebuilt and now serves as one of London's better known classical music venues.
9. Round church in a lawyers' enclave in the City.

Answer: Temple Church

The Temple, in the south-western corner of the old City, originally belonged to the Knights Templar, who built a round church said to be modelled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The much larger rectangular choir section was built on to it later. With the fall of the Knights Templar, the land passed to the Hospitallers, who leased it to lawyers. It then passed to the Crown, and James I eventually granted the freehold to the Benchers (senior members) of the Inner Temple and Middle Temple, two of the English Inns of Court where aspiring barristers learn their trade and established practitioners and judges have their chambers.

The church has undergone much restoration over the centuries, most recently after it was bombed during World War II. Its choir enjoys a high reputation.
10. Diagonally opposite the Old Bailey; once played a part in executions.

Answer: St Sepulchre's

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre Without Newgate is the largest parish church in the old City. It stands diagonally opposite what used to be Newgate Prison (now the Central Criminal Court in Old Bailey). Under a parishioner's bequest of 1605, the great bell of St Sepulchre's was rung when prisoners were due to be taken out of the prison for their public execution.

At midnight on the preceding night, the parish watchman was to ring a handbell outside the condemned cell and recite a piece of doggerel verse calling on the prisoners to repent and prepare for eternity. Vestiges of the old Newgate cells can still be seen in the cellars of the Viaduct Tavern, which stands on another corner of the crossroads.
Source: Author TabbyTom

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