St Mary Mounthaw

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 Mary Mounthaw (not shown on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as the early thirteenth century, as a private chapel attached to a house belonging to the Mounthaunt family, from whom it takes its unusual name. In 1234, the Mounthaunts’ house was bought by Ralph de Maidstone, the Bishop of Hereford, to serve as a London residence, and at or around his time the chapel became a parish church. John Skypp, the Bishop of Hereford from 1539-52, and one-time almoner and chaplain to Anne Boleyn, was buried in the church in 1552. Later, Robert Bennet, Bishop from 1603-17, paid for a substantial part of the rebuilding of the church in 1609. Huelin, in his “Vanished Churches of the City of London“, notes that the rector of the church from 1640-43, one Thomas Thrall, “was deprived on charges of not preaching or catechizing on Sunday afternoons, of drunkenness and swearing”.

The  church was burned down   in the Great Fire of 1666,  and never rebuilt, the former parish uniting with that of St Mary Somerset.  

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The site of the church from the top of Lambeth Hill

Nothing  at all remains of it on its former site today, the churchyard having been   lost during the construction of Queen Victoria Street, and a commemorative plaque during the bombing of the Second World War.

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