St Botolph Aldersgate

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. 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 Botolph Aldersgate was probably originally probably built during the Saxon or early Medieval period, and subsequently rebuilt in the later Medieval.  In his “Survey of London” of 1598, Stow referred to it as St Botolph Britain Street, meaning Little Britain, and described it as a “proper parish church”. He also recorded a large number of memorials in the church, including those of “I. Hartshorne, esquire, servant to the King 1400” and “the Lady Anne Packington, late wife to Jo. Packington, knight, chirographer of the court of the common pleas”, who “founded almshouses near unto the White Friars’ church in Fleet Street”.

The church was undamaged in the Great  Fire of 1666, protected from it by the City Wall, but was nonetheless essentially completely rebuilt by Nathaniel Wright in the eighteenth century, in 1725, and further modified in the nineteenth. 

The aforementioned memorial to Lady Anne Packington still survives. It is dated 1563.

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