Dutch Church, Austin Friars

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Dutch Church, Austin Friars
The oldest Dutch foundation in the world
Country United Kingdom
Denomination United Reformed Church
Website Dutch Church
Style Georgian architecture

The Dutch Church, Austin Friars, is a familiar landmark[1] within Broad Street Ward,[2] in the City of London.

The original church was a monastic priory known as the Austin Friars, London, a contraction of "Augustinian Friars", founded circa 1253 by Humphrey de Bohun, 2nd Earl of Hereford (d. 1275).[3] The priory was dissolved in 1538 and granted by the crown in 1550 to John a Lasco (known in Poland as Jan Łaski) who founded a preaching house for a congregation of Protestant Walloon refugees.[4] On 24 July 1550, the Dutch Stranger Church received a royal charter that gave Protestant refugees from the Netherlands permission to establish their own parish and it was incorporated by letters patent from King Edward VI. Upon incorporation, the church was renamed the "Temple of the Lord Jesus" and given four pastors: two for the Dutch church, and two for the French/Walloon church meeting in St Anthony's Chapel. The Dutch connection thus starts in 1550[5] and as such it is the oldest Dutch-language Protestant church in the world.[6]

The medieval building was bombed on 15–16 October 1940 during the Blitz. The foundation stone of the new church was laid on 23 July 1950 by the ten year old Princess Irene of the Netherlands. The new church, built to the design of Arthur Bailey, was completed in 1954. The new building is a concrete box frame, externally clad in Portland stone.[7] The church possesses detailed archives,[8] and is a popular tourist attraction.[9] It celebrated its 450th anniversary in the millennium year.[10]

The church was designated a Grade II listed building on 25 September 1998.[7]

On December the 3rd 2014 the Dutch Church received the conformation that the Church is registered for the solemnization of marriages of same sex couples.

Members of the Dutch Stranger Church[edit]

Interior view towards the East
The Foundation stone
Portrait of Willem Thielen, minister of the Dutch Church, 1634 by Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The City of London—a history, Borer, M.I.C. : New York, D. McKay Co, 1978 ISBN 0-09-461880-1.
  2. ^ British History On-line
  3. ^ Victoria County History, London, Vol.1, 1909, Friaries: The Austin Friary, pp.510-513
  4. ^ Churches of the City of London, Reynolds, H: London, The Bodley head, 1922.
  5. ^ "The London Encyclopaedia" Hibbert,C;Weinreb,D;Keay,J: London, Pan Macmillan, 1983 (rev 1993,2008) ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5
  6. ^ Official web-site
  7. ^ a b English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (479546)". Images of England.  accessed 24 January 2009
  8. ^ Guide to the City Churches, Betjeman, J: Andover, Pitkin, 1974 ISBN 0-85372-112-2.
  9. ^ More details
  10. ^ Kerk in de City, Sluyterman, K.E. Hilversum, Verloren, 2000 ISBN 90-6550-609-8.

External links[edit]

Media related to Dutch Church, Austin Friars at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 51°30′56″N 0°5′8″W / 51.51556°N 0.08556°W / 51.51556; -0.08556