July 4 may mean Independence Day to you but in our household it is my parents in law’s wedding anniversary. Sadly they are no longer with us to celebrate. This weekend we went to visit St Pancras Old Church were they got married. We have never visited before as they moved away long before my husband was born.
St Pancras Old Church is behind St Pancras station and is not the large and famous St Pancras church to be found opposite Euston station. Some say that it is the site of the longest continual Christian worship in London. It is certainly a very beautiful church. The altar stone dates from the sixth century.
Outside the grave yard is very peaceful when the Eurostar trains are not screeching past. When the railway lines were being constructed in the nineteenth century a lot of the graves were disturbed. The job of ensuring respectful treatment of the remains was given to Thomas Hardy, who was an architect at the time before he wrote his best selling novels. He arranged the grave stones round the base of a tree, that is now known as the Hardy tree.
Elsewhere you can see the mausoleum of Sir John Soane, famous for designing the Bank of England and for the eponymous museum.
Just behind Sir John’s rather splendid edifice a simple memorial stone for William Godwin and his wife Mary Wollenstonecraft can be seen. He was a philosopher and she was the author of The Vindication of the Rights of Women and the mother of Mary Shelley.
St Pancras Old Church is small but very beautiful and its churchyard more interesting than most. Well worth a visit and a special place to remember Marian and Roy.