The church of All Hallows by the Tower is mentioned in the Doomsday Book in 1086 AD as belonging to Barking Abbey, which is is sometimes known as All Hallows Barking. Its origins date back earlier than this to the 7th Century and the damage during the Blitz revealed an archway built from reused Roman stonework.
The church was severely damaged in 1650 by an explosion of gunpowder in a warehouse next door but survived the Great Fire of 1666. Samuel Pepys, the diarist, watched the progress of the fire from the church’s tower. John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the USA, was married there in 1797 and restoration work was carried out in 1884. Disaster struck again when the church was gutted in the Blitz in World War 2. It was rebuild and rededicated in 1957.
It is now a popular tourist destination as it stands next to the Tower of London and has an interesting historical museum in its crypt. A parish boundary marker can be found on the banks of the Thames at Water Lane. A vertical line cut into the stonework of the embankment shows the boundary between All Hallows by the Tower and St Dunstan in the East. he parishes were combined when St Dunstan was destroyed in the Blitz and its ruins are now a public garden.