St Andrew Undershaft

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.

sau

St Andrew Undershaft, Leadenhall Street (“30” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London).was originally  built in the twelfth century, and rebuilt in the fourteenth, and again, in the Perpendicular Gothic style, in around 1520-32.  The Henrician court artist Hans Holbein was a parishioner here.

st-andrew-undershaft-with-the-gherkin-in-the-background

door

general-view-of-interior

The church was undamaged both in the Great Fire of 1666 and in the Blitz of 1940-5,  although the seventeenth-century stained-glass windows were destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1992.

stow-memorial-1695

Among the many memorials inside is   one to the Merchant Taylor and amateur antiquarian John Stow (d. 1605), the author of “A Survay of London”.

changing-of-the-quill

Stow appears  with a quill-pen in his hand.  Every third year, on or around the anniversary of his death on April 5th, as part of a special service in his memory, he   is ceremonially presented  with a new quill (and his old one is given to the  winner of an essay competition for local children, with London as its subject).

 

 

 

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