St Olave's Church
Churches & Cathedrals
Read more
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Write a review
About
St Olave's is an historic church in the City of London and final resting place of English diarist, and observer of the Great Fire of London, Samuel Pepys.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
The area
Address
Neighborhood: City of London
From its ancient past as a Roman trading outpost to its 21st century status as the wealthiest square mile in the world, the financial district known simply as “The City” is one of London's most historic and fascinating neighborhoods. Here high rise office towers such as Norman Foster’s Gherkin mingle with Roman ruins and architectural marvels from virtually every era in between, including Christopher Wren's glorious St.Paul's Cathedral, and John Soane's dauntingly classicist Bank of England. This neighborhood is also home to some of the finest restaurants and plushest hotels in Europe, in addition to an assortment of watering holes, upscale shops, and Tube stations. During the week, the City is abuzz with white collar workers going about their business; the weekend sees this area turn into a quiet haven for sightseers.
How to get there
  • Tower Hill • 4 min walk
  • Tower Gateway • 5 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
39 reviews
Excellent
28
Very good
9
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Patrick O
Mount Holly, NC1,038 contributions
Mar 2014 • Solo
A lot of history here as the church was damaged by bombs in 1941 and restored in 1954. The Crypt Chapel is from the 13th century and the tower of the church is from the 15th century with additions from the 18th century. On the sign outside it says the dedication is to St. Olave, the patron saint of Norway and is the only surviving City Church with this dedication. Memorials include Samuel Pepys. There are beautiful stained glass windows. Many hand carved memorials on the walls of historic and community figures. The pulpit is dark hand carved wood with beautiful carving. There is a small grave yard on the side as you enter but the stones are so old that they can not be read. Charles Dickens called it The Churchyard of St. Ghastly Grim in "The Uncommon Traveller".
A blue sign outside listed Samuel Pepys and Mother Goose on the burial register and Pepys is buried in a vault under the communion table. The walls and foundation are old and look that way while the tower is brown brick. Worth a stop, this church is on the way from The Double Tree to the tube station. A wonderful old church with a lot of history in the middle of new financial buildings around it.
Written March 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dan M
Spokane, WA71 contributions
Sep 2013 • Solo
I had high expectations before visiting this small church, and my visit far surpassed my expectations. The tourist will find many more spectacular churches in London, but this church is indeed beautiful with much charm and historical significance. I wanted to visit this church for some time for many reasons. It was Charles Dickens' favorite church for he named it "St. Ghastly Grim" because of the three grinning stone skulls over the church yard doorway leading to the church. It was also Samuel Pepys' favorite church, and he is buried here. In addition, Mary Ramsay, the person who brought the plague to London was also buried at this church. St. Olave's church suffered extensive damage during WWII, but much of the church had been saved and beautifully restored. I was very fortunate to visit while a very friendly priest named, "Norman" was completing a guild service. He was generous enough to spend an hour with me showing and sharing many unique aspects of the church and its history that are not in any of the guide books.
Written January 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hendrik_NL
Vlaardingen, The Netherlands7,252 contributions
Nov 2013 • Couples
We used the entrance on Seething Lane, past the grave stones. St. Olave's Church dates from the 15th century and escaped the Great Fire of 1666. This church has a strong Scandinavian and seafaring connection. It is a beautiful old church, restored after it was damaged by WO II bombing. The contrast is great between this historic spot and the towering skyscrapers of the City of London. The church is also the resting place of Samuel Pepys. I added some pictures, they tell more than a thousand word review. Definitively worth a visit.
Written November 18, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jethro672
London1,012 contributions
Dec 2021 • Solo
What an amazing church - incredibly.interesting one of the few medieval churches to survive the great fire. A wonderful church yard. Highly recommended
Written December 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

YeovilWuppy
Yeovil, UK744 contributions
Oct 2016 • Solo
If you are in this area of London, try to find time to visit this old church. It is situated on the corner of Hart Street and Seething Lane, not far from Fenchurch Street Station and the Tower of London.
There are many interesting things to see. The small churchyard is quite high up from the road, this is because thousands of victims of the Great Plague are buried there.
It is also the final resting place of Samuel Pepys and his wife. They lived in a house in Seething Lane.
The Church is also mentioned in The Commercial Traveller by Charles Dickens. He calls it "the church of St Ghastly Grim", probably referring to the entrance to the churchyard which is decorated with stone skulls and metal spikes.
It is a Norwegian church and the King of Norway woshipped here when he was in exile during WWII.
It survived the Great Fire of London but was severely damaged during the Blitz.
Written October 19, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dr_Waugh
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK6,248 contributions
May 2015 • Friends
Restored following the Second World War this is a beautiful little church. Olav is the patron saint of Norway and the Norwegian flag flies just inside the main entrance.

We were fortunate enough that someone was playing the grand piano while we were there. The music added to the experience while looking around. There's a small garden outside for quiet contemplation if you don't want to do that in church.

Samuel Pepys is buried here as are a couple of relatives. There's also an effigy of Peter Turner a botanist/physician from the 1600s.

One of London's smallest churches, it's worth a look. It's on Seething lane, great street name.
Written May 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

vickiebypass
Stamford, CT202 contributions
Jan 2019 • Solo
I like going to lunch-time recitals so picked St Olave’s church which is on Hart Street. Interesting neighborhood since it’s a financial, business area so not many tourists but it was lunchtime with lots of locals out and about. Came out of the Tube at the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange and spotted several unusual skyscrapers, including the Gherkin, the Walkie-Talkie, and others. Love the juxtaposition of old and new. Furthering that, St Olave’s, a 12th century church, was in the midst of tall, modern office buildings & hotels.

The church is small but rather ornate inside with stained glass windows from the 1950s and various memorial. For a small place, it has a lot of history – it survived the Great Fire, Pepys is buried there, had heavy bomb damage in WWII and was restored in the 1950’s. Affiliated with various guilds, including the corn hall workers and cloth workers which is reflected in the stained glass windows. Crypt down a winding metal staircase..

There were about 30 attendees and the concert was a pianist and a flautist who played for a full hour. Very nice. No charge for the concert but they were accepting donations so I left them 5 pounds which seemed to be what other people are doing. Would go to another concert there or at other churches.
Written February 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jenny K
Devon, PA20 contributions
Dec 2016 • Couples
Literally tucked away and easy to miss, but what a jewel! This little church bridges an enormous span of history and the Rector tells many a fascinating tale of wars, famous parishioners, fires and the sheer luck that it was not totally destroyed in WW2. At Christmas there was hot cider and cookies for visitors. We even went down into the crypt. Most tourists in London never get past the West End which is a shame. Nearby is Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, St. Katherine's Dock, parts of the Roman wall of the City of London. You could stop off en route by boat down the Thames to Greenwich.
Written April 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WorldCTraveller
London, UK20 contributions
Sep 2016 • Friends
St Olave's is a very special place whether you are a historian or a Christian. Its history extends back in time to when the Vikings were here and it survived the Blitz so there are so many facts woven into the tapestry of the City of London. It is also special as its acoustics make it a wonderful place to hear lunchtime concerts etc. As a place of worship, it has a small but welcoming congregation and the Rector and his team provide a sermon and service that probably should be delivered in St Pauls. Coffee and biscuits are served after every Sunday service and children are most definitely welcome.
Written September 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

lavender470
Chesterfield, UK147 contributions
May 2016 • Couples
Walked past by accident and went in to have a look around.

There was a parishoner in there who made us very welcome and told us of all the history of the church. So interesting and never even asked for a donation but of course we gave one on the way out.

Fascinating history. We were shown all over and down in the crypt.

Lovely hidden gem!
Written August 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 34
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

St Olave's Church, London

Frequently Asked Questions about St Olave's Church

St Olave's Church is open:
  • Sun - Sun 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Mon - Fri 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking St Olave's Church tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 3 St Olave's Church tours on Tripadvisor


Restaurants near St Olave's Church: View all restaurants near St Olave's Church on Tripadvisor