The first in an occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost since (mostly demolished on the orders of our own town planners – in some cases justifiably, for safety reasons; in others, at least arguably so, either for security reasons, or to allow for site redevelopment; but in still others, simply because they had been deemed, under the incomprehensibly philistine Union of Benefices Act of 1860, to be surplus to requirements).
All Hallows Bread Street was originally built in the thirteenth century, sometime before 1291 (it is mentioned in Pope Nicholas IV’s “Taxatio Ecclesiastica” of that year). It was burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1681-98, only to be demolished to make way for warehouses in 1877, when the parish was merged with St Mary-le-Bow. A plaque on the wall of St Mary-le-Bow and some parish boundary markers survive at its former site. The salvaged pulpit also survives, in St Vedast, Foster Lane. John Milton was christened here in 1608.