This is the parish church of the united parish of St Mary le Strand with St Clement Danes. The church of St Clement Danes, which stands just to the east, was gutted by an incendiary bomb in 1941 but beautifully restored after the Second World War to become the Central Church of the Royal Air Force.
St Mary le Strand is often said to be the loveliest Baroque church in England. It was designed by James Gibbs, built between 1714 and 1723 and consecrated in 1724. The Italianate building with its intricate spire dominates the triumphal route along the Strand from Trafalgar Square to the City of London. Architecturally, there is a two-storey effect – Ionic and Corinthian orders on the exterior and Corinthian and Composite on the inside, with windows only on the upper level because of the noise of traffic (substantial even in the eighteenth century!)
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