Another in an occasional series on churches outside the City walls that survived the Great Fire of 1666 (see also November 18th posting on St Bartholomew the Great) …
St Bartholomew the Less in West Smithfield was originally founded as one of five chapels attached to the Priory of St Bartholomew in the twelfth century, and added to in the fifteenth, before being dissolved under Henry VIII in the sixteenth, thereafter becoming a parish church. It was undamaged in the Great Fire of 1666, although nonetheless had to be substantially rebuilt by George Dance the Younger between 1789-93, and again by Thomas Hardwick between 1823-5, and restored by his grand-son Philip Hardwick between 1862-3. It was then badly damaged by bombing during the Second World War, and had to be rebuilt yet again, by Lord Mottistone, in 1950-1.
The oldest surviving part of the church is the fifteenth-century tower, located just inside the eighteenth-century Henry VIII Gate leading into St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Inigo Jones was baptised in the church in 1573.
Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of this web-site.