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 Martin Vintry (“Y” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London), also known as St Martin Bare-mannechurch, was originally built sometime before 1291, being mentioned in Pope Nicholas IV’s “Taxatio Ecclesiastica” of that year, and possibly as long ago as the eleventh century. It was subsequently rebuilt by the executors of Mathew de Columbars, “a stranger born, a Bordeaux merchant of Gascoyne and French wines”, in 1399; and “new roofed … with timber, covered … with lead, and beautifully glazed” at the expense of Ralph Austrie, fishmonger, sometime before his death in 1494. In his “Survey of London” of 1598, Stow recorded a number of memorials in the church, including that of “John Gisors, mayor 1311”.
The church was burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666, and not rebuilt again afterwards, the former parish uniting with that of St Michael Paternoster Royal. The site of the churchyard is now occupied by Whittington Garden.