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St Clement Danes | by Lawrence OP
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St Clement Danes

St Clement Danes is the Central Church of the Royal Air Force. Tradition holds that it was originally built by Danes expelled from the City of London by King Alfred in the ninth century. It is mentioned in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book (1086) and for nearly 150 years was in the care of the Knights Templar (1170-1312). The church escaped damage in the Great Fire of London (1666) but was rebuilt in 1681 by Christopher Wren and a steeple was added to the tower by James Gibbs in 1719.

 

The original Wren building was badly damaged by enemy action on 10 May 1941. It was rebuilt by the Royal Air Force in 1958 to become its spiritual heart.

 

The floor of the church is dotted with Welsh slate badges of over 800 RAF commands, groups, stations, squadrons and other formations.

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Taken on January 12, 2011