St George’s Church, Hanover Square, 2014

St George Hanover Sq (1)

A ten minute walk from Golden Square, on the other side of Regent Street, lies the Church of St George’s Hanover Square. It was here that Elizabeth Windham (aka Morgan) was baptized in 1743, and her brother William in 1751. She married Richard Guise here in 1761.

I was really looking forward to seeing this place. When I had read up about it on the internet, it showed some amazing pictures, and it looked like a lovely Georgian church. It was built between 1721 and 1724, and it was here that the composer Frederick Handel worshiped.

As Susan, Pete and I were walking there from Golden Square, we approached the church from the rear. Sadly, not its best angle. Once we reached the front, the disappointment continued. At the front we reached a tall, elaborate portico, with soaring columns. As we entered the portico, we noticed that the church doors were being blocked by two homeless men. They seemed to have settled in and made it ‘home’ despite the signs above them that said “no sleeping”. We tried to open the one door without a keeper, and it was locked. No entry.

St George Hanover Sq (2)

Meanwhile a group of people had begun to gather outside- but it turns out that they were waiting for a tour bus, which arrived soon after. Really it was a ‘posh’ neighbourhood, with Christies across the street, but the church looked so sad, unloved and dirty.

I would have loved to have gone inside and seen it more carefully. This was my one true disappointment in my “family places” tour. The photos say it all.

St George Hanover Sq (3)