GreaterLondonGREENWICHStAlfege(stusmithCC-BY-ND2.0)1 StuSmith

St Alfege

There has been a church here for over a thousand years, dedicated to the memory of Alfege, the Archbishop of Canterbury who was martyred on this site in 1012.

Greenwich, Greater London

Opening times

The church is open to visitors every weekday 11am to 4pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm and Sunday 12noon to 4pm.
Volunteers keep the church open for visitors, and although we try our best to keep to the opening times but there may be some instances when this isn’t possible.
St Alfege hosts numerous events including regular free lunchtime concerts every Thursday at 1pm throughout the year, many of which are free to attend.


Greenwich Church Street
Greater London
SE10 9BJ

It was the first church built between 1712 and 1718 under the Fifty New Churches Act of 1711, and the first complete church project undertaken by Nicholas Hawksmoor, one of England’s most original and significant architects.

Master craftsmen working with Hawksmoor in St Alfege church were also working in other main sites in Greenwich and London. The design and carving of the pulpit and the Corinthian capitals on these pillars are attributed to Grinling Gibbons, who worked with Wren on St Paul’s Cathedral and is regarded as the finest English wood carver. The old pulpit, covered in elaborate carving by Grinling Gibbons.

The wrought iron altar rails and balcony rails were designed by French craftsman Jean Tijou, who produced screens for St Paul’s and for Hampton Court.

The elaborate columns and cornices are the original Hawksmoor design. The main pilasters at the east end and the apse were originally painted by Sir James Thornhill, better known for his work in the Painted Hall of the Old Royal Naval College

The crypt is best known as the burial place of General James Wolfe but it was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor to be a space for the living, and possibly a school. Soon after the church was consecrated in 1718, the parishioners of Greenwich decided they had other plans. People paid to be buried on the floor of the crypt and as a result the current floor level is about three feet higher than the original. Wealthy local families set up family burial vaults in the crypt, like the one used for James Wolfe. The vaults contain over 1,000 bodies. The crypt is currently only open to the public a few times a year.

St Alfege church has a rich musical tradition and is the burial place of Thomas Tallis, the father of English choral music, composer and director of music serving four monarchs from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I.

Henry VIII was baptised here, and many other key historical figures in Greenwich’s royal, maritime and scientific history have close links with the site including Thomas Tallis, General James Wolfe and John Flamsteed. St Alfege is a key part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • National heritage here

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Famous connections

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Train station within 250m

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Café within 500m

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

Contact information

Other nearby churches

Christ Church

East Greenwich, Greater London

Christ Church was built in 1849 as the daughter church of St Alfege in West Greenwich.

St John the Evangelist

Blackheath, Greater London

Designed by Arthur Ashpital, work began in 1852 and the church was completed in 1853.