Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »

Liverpool, England

Church of St. Luke, Liverpool

Gutted during the Liverpool Blitz, this architectural husk has been left destroyed in honor of the dead. 

Built in the early 1800’s in an ornate architectural style, the Church of St. Luke was to be a tranquil gem in the heart of Liverpool until it was nearly destroyed during the World War II Liverpool Blitz, however the lovely stonework shell that survived has been left in semi-ruin as a memorial to the victims of the bombing and the site has managed to become almost more peaceful (if it were not for the concerts).

When the land where St. Luke’s would be built was initially purchased on the understanding that it would only ever be used to house a church. This agreement was honored from 1832 until 1941 during which time it was operated as not only a church but was also host to a number of concerts. It eventually became known as the “doctor’s church” thanks to the large number of medical professionals living in the area. 

Unfortunately the glory days of the large chapel were not to last as the Second World War swept through the area and devastating bombing campaign over Liverpool in May of 1941 severely damaged the church, completely eliminating its roof.  

When restoration of the city began, the decision was made to leave the church in its ruined state as a permanent reminder of the honored dead. The surrounding garden plants were allowed to grow up the walls of the now windowless church and a lovely state of ruin settled on the site. Now known locally as “The Bombed Out Church” the main tower is still standing and the roofless congregation space of the church is used for art exhibitions, concerts and other events. When the space is not being used however it is a tranquil, if somber space among the bustle of city life. 

Contributed by
tomak
Edited by