St Olave Hart Street

1 - General view of the exterior

General view of the exterior

The church of St Olave Hart Street was originally built in wood in the eleventh century, sometime after the martyrdom of St Olave in 1030, and rebuilt in stone in the late twelfth to early thirteenth, and again in the mid-fifteenth, around 1450, and extended in the sixteenth to seventeenth.

5 - General view of interior

General view of interior

It was undamaged in the Great Fire of 1666,   thanks to the action of William Penn Senior and Samuel Pepys, who demolished some surrounding buildings to create a  firebreak, but gutted by bombing on the night of 10th May, 1941, and rebuilt again between 1951-54.

Gateway to churchyard

Gateway to churchyard

14 - Memorial to Samuel Pepys (d. 1703)

Memorial to Samuel Pepys (d. 1703)

13 - Memorial to Elizabeth Pepys (d. 1669)

Memorial to Elizabeth Pepys (d. 1669)

The thirteenth century crypt, some thirteenth and fifteenth century walls, the fifteenth century tower, the gateway, dating to 1658, and the vestry, dating to 1662, survive, as do a number of sixteenth and seventeenth century memorials, including  ones to not only Samuel Pepys but also his long-suffering wife Elizabeth, whose expression suggests she is “admonishing her wayward husband”.

The gateway to the churchyard is especially memorable for its adornment of skulls and cross-bones, from a design by Hendrik de Keyser.  Some of the interior fittings were salvaged from All Hallows Staining, St Benet Gracechurch and St Katharine Coleman.

3 - Detail of gateway

Detail of gateway

10 - Memorial to Jacobus (James) Deane (d. 1608)

Memorial to Jacobus (James) Deane (d. 1608)

9 - Memorial to Florentine merchant - and rumoured informant to Elizabeth I's spymaster Walsingham - Piero Capponi (d. 1582, of the plague)

Memorial to Florentine merchant – and rumoured informant to Elizabeth I’s spymaster Walsingham – Piero Capponi (d. 1582, of the plague)

12 - Memorial to Peter Turner (d. 1614)

Memorial to Peter Turner (d. 1614)

8 - Memento mori

Memento mori

11 - Memorial to Andrewe and Paule Bayninge (d. 1610 and 1616 respectively)

Memorial to Andrewe and Paule Bayninge (d. 1610 and 1616 respectively)

6 - Stained glass window with St Olaf in left panel

Stained glass window with St Olaf in left panel

Stained glass window with St Olaf in left panel

Stained glass window with Clothworkers’ Company panel

St Olave is one of only seven  City of London Churches with surviving Medieval features. This blog is one of an occasional series, now completed, with blogs on each of these seven – see below for links to the other six blogs:

All Hallows Barking,   All Hallows Staining,   St Andrew Undershaft,   St Ethelburga,   St Helen,  St Katharine Cree.

St Olave church is visited, although not generally entered, on our “London Wall” standard walk, and on our “Dark Age London”, “Medieval London”, “Medieval City Highlights” and “Lost City Highlights” themed specials.

4 - Former entrance to South Gallery and Navy Office pew

Former entrance to South Gallery and Navy Office pew

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Our Guided Walks” section of our web-site. Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s