George Dance the Elder is the architect who between the years 1736–1740 projected this astonishing building at the threshold of the vibrant Hackney
area. Located on the east side of Shoreditch High Street, a few steps away from the Spitalfield markets, the creation of St Leonard’s Church
sees once again the fingerprints of British architect Christopher Wren – Dance’s mentor. Dance actually took inspiration for the 58-metre-tall steeple from the St Mary-le-Bow one, built by his own teacher.
The building was open until the 1990s, when it was eventually considered unsafe and closed for nearly two years. Now open again, it is definitely worth a visit as a place that was often frequented by Elizabethan actors and Shakespeare’s friends, as it was located right next the theatre. Today, this place, also mentioned in the famous nursery rhyme ‘Oranges and Lemons’
, is deservedly part of Hackney’s cultural heritage.