St Ann Blackfriars

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.


St Ann Blackfriars (not individually identified on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built, on part of the site of the dissolved Blackfriars Priory, in 1544, and demolished, by the by-then owner of much of the site, Thomas Cawarden,  in 1550.  It was subsequently refounded by Cawarden, as Stow put it, in a “lodging chamber above a stair” in a surviving building in the former Priory precinct,  in 1558, and rebuilt, after that building collapsed, in 1597 (and extended in 1613).

The church was burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and not rebuilt again afterwards (the parish uniting with that of St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe).

Churchyard (Church Entry)

Two portions of the graveyard, which remained open  for burials until 1849, survive, one  in Church Entry, …

Churchyard with wall

… and the other, containing part of the wall of the former Blackfriars Priory, in Ireland Yard.

Vestry Hall

The nineteenth-century Vestry Hall also survives, and is cared for by the Ancient Monuments Society and the Friends of Friendless Churches.


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