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 Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange, Bartholomew Lane (shown on east side of “Bartelmew La.” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was probably originally built in the thirteenth century, although it was first recorded in the fourteenth, in 1331, and it was subsequently rebuilt in the fifteenth, in 1438. According to John Stow, William Capel, the Mayor of London in 1503 and 1510, “added unto this church a proper chapel on the south side thereof, and was buried there” (in 1515).
The church was badly damaged in the – as the Vestry minutes put it – “sadd and dreadfull” Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt again by Wren in 1675-83, only to be demolished, to allow for the rebuilding of the Royal Exchange and the widening of Threadneedle Street, in 1840/1.
It is one of the twenty-one lost Wren churches.
A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks the site of the former church, and some markers the former parish boundaries.
The salvaged organ of 1731 survives, in St Vedast-alias-Foster; the salvaged pulpit, in the church of St Bartholomew in Craven Hill in Tottenham (having been housed in St Bartholomew Moor Lane until that church was demolished to make way for the extension to the Metropolitan Line in 1902).