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A thousand years of history

The church is built on the site where St Alfege was killed by the Danes in 1012 AD.

St Alfege, Archbishop of Canterbury, was taken hostage by the Danes after they burnt down his cathedral during a raid on the city. They took him to Greenwich, hoping to ransom him for 3,000 gold marks, a huge sum of money. St Alfege refused to be ransomed, knowing it could mean starvation for many of his people, and as a result he was martyred. 

Heart of Greenwich Place and People project - rich heritage of St Alfege Church to be revealed thanks to National Lottery players.   The project aims reinforce the church’s position as a heritage asset at the heart of Greenwich, reveal and interpret our hidden spaces and heritage for everyone.  
Original Drawing by Sir James Thornhill
St Alfege Church has received a confirmed grant of £1,836,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Heart of Greenwich, Place and People project, thanks to National Lottery players.
From the early 11th Century to the Tudors, the Georgians and the Blitz, the church of St Alfege has been at the heart of life in Greenwich
Discover how the murder of an archbishop of Canterbury in 1012 led to the building of the first St Alfege Church and how his martyrdom is still being celebrated more than 1,000 years later
Find out how the Tudors changed Greenwich, where Henry VIII was (almost certainly) baptized, and why the music of Thomas Tallis lives on at St Alfege Church
Find out why the St Alfege churchwardens petitioned Parliament for a new church in 1718, and how the career of one of the 18th century’s greatest architects began with an early masterpiece in Greenwich
Learn about the short, but action-packed life of one of Britain’s greatest generals, who led his troops to victory at Quebec and is buried with his family in the crypt of St Alfege
Bombed but beautifully restored, St Alfege Church is still the focus of powerful memories for local people who grew up in the shadow of war
People with links to Greenwich and St Alfege Church come from all over the world to connect with their family origins or revisit the church where they were baptized, married or a member of the congregation