St Michael le Querne

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 Michael-le-Querne, also known as St Michael at Corn (not individually identified on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was probably originally built in the twelfth century, the first record of it dating to 1181. It was subsequently rebuilt in the fourteenth century, in the reign of Edward III, between 1327-77, and again in the fifteenth, in 1430 (and repaired in the seventeenth, in 1617). In his “Survey of London” of 1598, Stow referred to it as “St. Michael ad Bladum, or at the corn (corruptly at the querne), so called, because in place thereof was sometime a corn-market, stretching by west to the Shambles”. He also noted that “at the east end of the church stood a cross, called the old cross in West Cheap, which was taken down in the year 1390; since the which time … , in place of the old cross, is now a water-conduit placed … called the little conduit in West Cheap by Paul’s Gate”. John Leland, “The Father of English antiquaries”, was buried in the church in 1552.

The church was burned down   in the Great Fire of 1666 and never rebuilt, the former parish uniting with that of St Vedast-alias-Foster. The former parishioners continued to worship within the walls of the church of St Michael until St Vedast was rebuilt.

Essentially only a parish boundary marker  survives, on the wall of the Choir School in New Change.  

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