St Anne and St Agnes

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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St Anne and St Agnes, also known as St Anne within Aldersgate  or St Anne in the Willows (shown on “S. Anne La.” – near Aldersgate – on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London), was originally built around 1150, and subsequently rebuilt, after a fire, in around 1548.

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A, St Anne and Agnes

The church was badly damaged in the Great Fire, and rebuilt by Wren ?and Hooke, using some of the surviving structure,  between 1677-87.  It was then badly damaged again by bombing on the night of 29th December, 1940, and rebuilt again in 1963-68.   It was spared demolition after the war  “partly by the intrepidity of its vergeress, who kept it open …  even when the City Surveyor had served  a Dangerous Structure Notice”.

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Many of the interior fittings   were salvaged from St Mildred Bread Street, and the pulpit from St Augustine Watling Street.

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