Housed inside the stunning St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Grand Junction is a much-needed pillar of the local community. After incessant calls from locals who wanted a place close by to worship, the spectacular parish was eventually constructed in 1872, and its awe-inspiring beauty made up for the long wait. In fact, thanks to the grandeur of the place, this Grade 1 listed building even made an appearance on screen in a huge blockbuster movie in 2012.
To get there, you can get off at the Hammersmith & City and Bakerloo tube stations, and the number 18 and 36 buses also stop nearby. You can’t miss the church’s tall pointed arches and endless rows of colourful stained glass windows. This London venue is an architectural triumph, but it’s also much more than just its breathtaking facade. Grand Junction boasts a rapidly growing arts and music programme, and runs countless courses for adults as well as after-school clubs for younger people, too.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Grand Junction
1. A hefty restoration saved the venue from ruins
Grand Junction was designed to bring beauty to the lives of local Paddington residents, who were largely impoverished when the construction of St Mary Magdalene’s Church began in the 1860s. In the mid-twentieth century, the church started showing visible signs of disrepair thanks to pollution and decay. Today, after a recent £6 million restoration, it brings grandeur and majesty aplenty (it’s no wonder this place now makes for the perfect wedding venue).
2. Hollywood once came knocking
Thanks to the it’s breathtaking architecture and elegant interior, the building provides a stunning setting to host film projects and theatre productions. In fact, in 2012, Grand Junction made an appearance in the film adaptation of Les Miserables. In the scene, Jean Valjean played by Hugh Jackman is seen walking down the hallways of this beautiful building, and the grand ceiling is the shot’s star of the show.
3. Local creatives call this place home
From drama workshops to comedy courses, Grand Junction runs countless events throughout the year that are designed to appease the artistic types. This place is a home from home for local creatives and budding thespians, with multiple theatre productions, acting classes, community choir sessions and more events taking place each month.
What can you do at Grand Junction?
With so many arts events, this venue is a creative sanctuary for artistic minds in the local community. However, this place is also much more than that. Visitors can take advantage of the on-site language cafe – a warm welcoming spot perfect to go for a coffee and improve your language skills.
Grand Junction also offers free guided tours around the historic building, so you can kill a few hours in the afternoon by soaking up the venue’s rich history and hearing riveting tales about this stunning gem. Guests can visit the building on Mondays and Wednesdays between 10am-4pm, and guided tours usually take place around midday.
Alongside keeping the local community busy with creative workshops and productions, Grand Junction has also hosted a series of magical Candlelight concerts. Although the venue isn’t hosting any concerts for the moment, several other magnificent venues are lighting up London to set the scene for these enchanting Candlelight experiences.
Also published on Medium.