St Paul

Known as the church of Sea Captains due to the many mariners in the congregation, including Captain James Cook.

Shadwell, Greater London

Opening times

Sorry, there are no regular opening times for this church.


The Highway
Greater London

The church here was first established as a chapel of ease of St Dunstan's Stepney, becoming a separate parish in 1669 and consecrated as St Paul's Shadwell in 1671.

It became known as the church of Sea Captains due to the many mariners in the congregation, including Captain James Cook, whose marriage banns to Elizabeth Batts were read in the church and whose son, also James, was baptised here in 1763. The maritime trade led to Shadwell being a point of arrival for immigrants such as the Huguenots in the 17th century and a mulberry tree in the rectory garden may have been planted for their silk industry. In 1811 the church was closed as it was in danger of collapse and the parishioners then petitioned for a new church.

By this time the local population mainly worked in the docks or on the Thames. The petition was successful and in 1820 the church was substantially rebuilt as a Waterloo Church by the architect John Walters and builder R Streatham, which is recorded on a plaque on the church.

It was once surrounded by trees on all four sides but in the 1840s part of the churchyard was compulsorily purchased when the London Dock Company built Shadwell New Basin.

After it closed for burials, the churchyard was laid out in 1886 as a public garden by the MPGA, with a partially flagged area in front.

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • National heritage here

  • 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

  • Dog friendly

  • Café within 500m

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

Contact information

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