Sitting in the heart of Greenwich town centre is the imposing St Alfege Church, and they’ve started offering semi-regular tours of the crypt underneath the church. The crypt sits underneath the main church, and the tours take in both the underground space, and the church above.
There’s been a church on this site since medieval times, but the current church dates from 1712-14, and was one of the first to be designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, as a grand church built above an underground crypt. The crypt served as an air-raid shelter during World War II, although the church was hit by incendiary bombs and most of the interior above the ground was gutted by the fires they caused.
As part of the Heart of Greenwich Place and People Project, the church is now offering tours roughly every couple of weeks to visit the crypt, and later the rest of the main church and its raised galleries.
The tours are limited to eight people, take place on Saturdays and can be booked from here.
Please note that access to both areas requires climbing steep stairs and involves some bending. The tour is therefore not suitable for people with mobility issues.
The church is dedicated to Alfege, Archbishop of Canterbury, and reputedly marks the place where he was martyred on 19th April 1012, having been taken prisoner during the sack of Canterbury by Danish raiders the previous year. The Danes took him to their camp at Greenwich and killed him when the large ransom they demanded was not forthcoming.