St Mildred Poultry

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 Mildred Poultry (“25” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as the twelfth century, the earliest record of it dating to 1175, and possibly even in the Saxon period, bearing in mind that Mildred, the daughter of one saint, the sister of two, and one herself, was born  in Mercia, in 694.  According to Stow, the church was “new builded … in the yeare 1457”. Thomas Tusser, the author of a book entitled “Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry“, was buried there in 1580, after having died in the nearby Poultry Compter, where he had been imprisoned for debt. His epitaph read, in part: “Here Thomas Tusser clad in earth doth lie,|That sometimes made the points of husbandry”.

The church was burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and subsequently rebuilt by Wren in 1671-4.  It was demolished     in 1872, when the former parish was united with that of St Olave Jewry.

It is one of the twenty-one “lost” Wren churches, and one of the ten lost between 1860 (“Union of Benefices Act”) and 1900.

A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks the  former site of the church. The weather-vane in the shape of a ship salvaged from the church survives, on top of St Olave Jewry. 

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