St Alphage London Wall

Another in the 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.

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The present church of St Alphage, London Wall (“21” (S. Tapius) on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was (re-)founded in 1536 on the site of the chapel of the dissolved Elsing Spital, itself originally built – as a hospital specialising in the treatment of blind persons – in 1330/1.   The previous church,  a  little to the north, and abutting the city wall, was demolished at the same time, after having been founded at least as long ago as 1068, and possibly as long ago as 1013, that is, the year after Alphage’s martyrdom.

The church was undamaged in the Great Fire.

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However, it was  substantially rebuilt in 1777, and further restored in 1913, only to fall into disrepair, and to be partially demolished, following the merger of the parish with that of St Mary Aldermanbury in 1924.

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What was left following the aforementioned  partial demolition was substantially destroyed during the Blitz, with only a – recently conserved – partial shell surviving to this day.

 

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