The first in a series on historic churches in the City of London …
By the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, there were over a hundred parish churches and other places of Christian worship within and immediately without the walls of the City, despite a number having been closed down during the Reformation. To be precise, according to Parish Clerks’ records, there were 97 churches within the walls of the City, and 16 without, making a total of 113.
The church of St Alban Wood Street (19 on sixteenth-century “Agas” Map/”Map of Early Modern London”) was originally built in the eleventh century, on the site of an eighth-century chapel believed to have been attached to the palace of the Mercian King Offa, and subsequently rebuilt by Inigo Jones in the 1630s.
It was badly damaged in the Great Fire, and rebuilt by Wren in 1682-8, using some of the surviving structure (and further altered in 1858).
It was then severely damaged by bombing on the night of 29th December, 1940, and substantially demolished in 1955. Only the Perpendicular Gothic tower remains today.
Alban was the first English martyr, done to death in 304.