GreaterLondonLIMEHOUSEStAnne(stevecadmanCC-BY-SA2.0)1 SteveCadman

St Anne

The church family here at St Anne's is privileged to be able to meet in this remarkable Grade I listed building which was commissioned during the reign of Queen Anne as part of the Fifty New Churches Act in 1711.

Limehouse, Greater London

Opening times

In addition to Sunday services, the church is now open for cultural visits on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with volunteers in attendance on Fridays and Saturdays.


Three Colt Street
Greater London
E14 7HP

It was built between 1714-1727, and was consecrated in 1730. The church is named after Queen Anne, who initiated the scheme and raised money for it by imposing a tax on coal coming up the River Thames. The church was designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, who was Sir Christopher Wren’s assistant.

The building was gutted by fire on Good Friday 1850 but was restored between 1851 and 1854 largely as it was previously. The northeast vestry and the south porch and staircase are the only original parts of the interior.

Restoration and future maintenance of the building is overseen by the charity ‘Care for St Anne’s’. St Anne's underwent extensive restoration during 1999–2009, which included complete restoration of the churchyard, the organ, and the front end of the church.

The church has a long standing connection to the Royal Navy. Its clock is the highest church clock in London, and was designed as a special maritime clock for shipping on the Thames: it chimed every 15 minutes to guide the 6000 ships that moored in the docks every day. These days, it chimes every hour. Above the clock, there is a golden ball, which until recently was a Trinity House sea mark for navigating the Thames. The battle ensign of the recently decommissioned HMS Ark Royal is on display inside the church.

The pipe organ was designed and built by Messrs John Gray and Frederick Davison and won the Council Medal (first prize) in the Great Exhibition of 1851 at Crystal Palace. It was fully restored in 2009.

The east window is made of enamelled glass rather than stained glass, giving it a glowing effect. It is now in poor condition due to the combined effect of WWII damage, gravity and London pollution.

A distinctive pyramid, originally planned to be put on one of the corners at the east end of the building, now stands in the churchyard.

Three hundred years after building began, St Anne’s is still home to a thriving community. A former Rector of St Anne’s, Revd Christopher Idle has written a hymn about the building, his words capture very well our prayer for its future:

If these stones could tell the story
of our joys and tears
they would sing ‘To God be glory!’
till the Lord appears:
walls and pillars, bell and tower,
tell your power through the years.

  • Captivating architecture

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Famous connections

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Magnificent memorials

  • National heritage here

  • Social heritage stories

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Wildlife haven

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Café within 500m

  • Non-accessible toilets in church

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Steps to enter the church or churchyard

  • Train station within 250m

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Chatterbox, parent and toddler group at 10.30am on Wednesdays in term time.

  • Church of England

Contact information

Other nearby churches

Our Lady Immaculate & St Frederick

Limehouse, Greater London

An Italianate inter war church with a fine interior and several original furnishings, the northeast tower and statue of Christ are landmarks designed to be seen from the Limehouse Basin and the Thames.

Holy Trinity

Rotherhithe, Greater London

Holy Trinity is set in an ever changing part of the London Docklands, with new developments on the go or still on the drawing board.