St Olave Hart Street

Another in the  series on City of London buildings that survived the Great Fire of 1666, and that still survive to this day …




The church of St Olave Hart Street was originally built in wood in the eleventh century, sometime after the canonisation of St Olave in 1031, 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.  It was undamaged  in the Great Fire,  although damaged by bombing on the last night of the Blitz, 10th/11th  May,  1941,   and rebuilt again between 1951-4.





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-, seventeenth- and early eighteenth- 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.


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