The last 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.
Holy Trinity Minories was founded after the Dissolution of the Monasteries on the site of the thirteenth-century Convent of the Spanish Franciscan Nuns of the Order of St Clare, or “Sorores Minores”, or “Minoresses”. In his “Survey of London” of 1598, Stow wrote: “there was sometime an abbey of nuns of the order of St Clare, called the Minories, founded … in the year 1293. … . This house was surrendered by Dame Elizabeth Salvage, the last abbess there, unto King Henry VIII. in the 30th year of his reign, the year of Christ 1539. In place of this house of nuns is now built divers fair and large storehouses for armour and habiliments of war, with divers workhouses, serving to the same purpose [the Tower of London lay but a short distance to the south]: there is a small parish church for inhabitants of the close, called St. Trinities [sic]”.
The church was undamaged by the Great Fire of 1666. However, it was subsequently rebuilt in 1706, having by then fallen into disrepair, only to be damaged in a fire in the late eighteenth century, and eventually closed down in the nineteenth, when the parish was merged with that of St Botolph Aldgate. The remains were entirely destroyed by bombing during the Blitz of the Second World War.
Only the name lives on, in “Minories” and “St Clare Street”.