St Antholin Watling Street

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 Antholin Watling Street, also known as St Antholin Budge Row (reversed “Z” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built in the early twelfth century, around 1119, at which time it was known as St Anthony’s, St Anthonine’s or similar.  It was subsequently  “re-edified” at the turn of the fourteenth and fifteenth, between 1399-1410, at the expense of Thomas Knowles, the sometime Mayor of London, rebuilt again in 1513, and repaired in 1616, and a new gallery was added in 1623.


The church burned down in the  Great Fire of 1666, and was rebuilt again by Wren in 1678-88, only to be demolished during the construction of Queen Victoria Street in 1874,  when the parish was merged with St Mary Aldermary.

Lost Wren Churches

It  is one of the twenty-one lost Wren churches, and one of the ten lost between 1860 (“Union of Benefices Act”)  and 1900.

St Antholin plaque on St Mary Aldermary

A stone tablet that marked its former site was salvaged when the site was developed to make way for Bucklersbury House, and still survives affixed to the outside wall of the church of  St Mary Aldermary.

Spire (Sydenham)

Rather remarkably, part of the spire, which had been removed and replaced in 1829, survives on the site of the house of the man who acquired it in Sydenham.


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