Historic London church just a short distance for mid-Missouri residents
FULTON - The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, was long ago located in London and today is only a short drive away for mid-Missouri residents.
The church is currently in Fulton, Missouri, but was constructed in London and endured the city's hardships in the earlier years of it's existence.
"This magnificent space was originally constructed in the 12th century in London and has a magnificent history. It has served London well," said Director and Curator Tim Riley.
The church saw London's plagues and wars but survived until the Great Fire of London of 1667 completely burned the church down to ashes. After that, architect Sir Christopher Wren was determined to rebuild Aldermanbury.
Then another tragedy hit the built church.
"On December 29, 1940, during World War II when the German Luftwaffe dropped 20,000 incendiary bombs on the city of London, gutting the inside on this church," said Riley. "Once again, destroyed almost to the ashes with only the stone shell of the building remaining," Riley said.
And once again it was rebuilt.
20 years later, Westminster College decided to have the church brought over stone by stone on boats and resembled it the way it looked in London. The school wanted to honor Winston Churchill for his ties with the school.
It took workers 7,000 stones to rebuild it, and it eventually opened to the public in 1969.
Today, Aldermanbury Church is used for tours, weddings and special ceremonies. The church and museum are open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.