Field Notes

Note 8: Sacred to the Memory

Location: St Anne’s Church, Newell Street, Limehouse, London E14

Sacred to the Memory field trip map

In 2010

In 2010

• We are outside St Anne’s, one of Hawksmoor’s great churches, and, as Iain Sinclair suggests in Lud Heat, one of the points of a triangle (formed by St Anne’s, Christ Church Spitalfields and St-George-in-the-East) that creates a system of energies: St Anne, whose arms are the Limehouse Cut and the River Lea. She stands at the gate of the swamp; The Isle of Dogs. It is a strange churchyard, with its mystic pyramid, a curiously pagan structure. Perhaps that’s why the Situationists, the original urban explorers, chose the former Sailors’ Mission across the road as their meeting place in 1960. There is something in the air around here, a current, a sensation. Vici captured the sun selecting a single stone, highlighting a single word: sacred. But today our stone is in shadow, which brings me back to Peter Ackroyd, and his fictional architect, Dyer, modelled on Hawksmoor: the art of shaddowes you must know well; only Darknesse can give true Forme to our Work.
• Words Tamar Yoseloff / Photos Vici MacDonald

Below: gravestones line St Anne’s car park. Bottom: exhibition display of field notes.

Sacred to the Memory field notes display