Holy Trinity the Less

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. 

Holy Trinity the Less (not shown  on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built in the thirteenth century, the earliest written reference to it being from 1266; and subsequently rebuilt in the early seventeenth, in 1606-7. In his “Survey of London” of 1598, John Stow described the church as “very old, and in danger of falling down”, adding that “collections have been made for repairing thereof, but they will not stretch so far, and therefore it leaneth upon props or stilts”. Stow also recorded a number of monuments in the church, including that of John Brian, alderman in the reign of Henry V. [1413-22], a great benefactor”. Henry Machyn, a merchant taylor or clothier who chronicled events in London between 1550-63, recounted how in 1559 the then Rector, Thomas Chambers, became involved in an unseemly brawl with a young man, breaking a bottle over his head, for which he was imprisoned “first in the Compter [given the date, either the Poultry Compter or the then newly-built one in Wood Street] and then in Bridewell”.

The church was burned down in the Great Fire of 1666 and not rebuilt again afterwards, the former parish merging  with that of St Michael Queenhithe.  Essentially nothing now remains of it other than a parish boundary marker in Great Trinity Lane.

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