Lost Wren churches – St Dionis Backchurch

Another in the  occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since …

St Dionis BackchurchSt Dionis Backchurch was originally built at the turn of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, on the south-eastern corner of the Roman Basilica and Forum, and using robbed Roman building materials, and added to in the sixteenth and early seventeenth. It was burnt down in the  Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren, in 1670-86, only to be demolished in 1878, when the parish was merged with All Hallows Lombard Street. A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks its former site.

St Dionis Backchurch plaqueThe salvaged communion table, font and pulpit also survive, in the church of St Dionis in Parsons Green.  A “squirt”, or fire extinguisher, from the vestry  can be seen in the Museum of London.

Dionis, or more properly Denys, is the patron saint of France, who was beheaded after attempting  to convert Paris to Christianity in the  third century.  The church on, or rather just off, Fenchurch Street dedicated to him became commonly  designated  “backchurch”; that dedicated to St Gabriel,  “forechurch”.

St Dionis Backchurch parish boundary marker

St Dionis Backchurch parish boundary marker


3 thoughts on “Lost Wren churches – St Dionis Backchurch

  1. rafterd1972

    I had no idea there were so many churches in London or that were so many lost during the big fire. Thanks for your continuing information.


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