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 Benet Fink (“26” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as the thirteenth century, and subsequently rebuilt by one Robert Finke in the ?fourteenth (note in this context that a grave-slab tentatively dated on stylistic grounds to the late tenth or early eleventh century has been found here).
The church burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and was rebuilt – to an “uncommon and very effective” decagonal design – by Wren in 1670-5. It was demolished, to make way for the rebuilding of the Royal Exchange, in 1841, when the parish was merged with St Peter-le-Poer.
It is one of the twenty-one lost Wren churches.
A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks its former site. Some salvaged communion plate still survives, in the church of St Benet Fink in Tottenham. Salvaged paintings of Moses and Aaron, which were formerly part of the altar-piece, ended up in Emmanuel School in Wandsworth.