Category Archives: London Churches

St Benet Fink

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.

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St Benet Fink  (“26” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as  the thirteenth century, and subsequently rebuilt by one Robert Finke in the ?fourteenth  (note in this context that a grave-slab tentatively dated on stylistic grounds to  the late tenth or early eleventh century has been found here).

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The church burned down  in the  Great Fire of 1666, and was  rebuilt – to  an “uncommon and very effective”  decagonal design –  by Wren in 1670-5.  It was  demolished, to make way for the rebuilding of the Royal Exchange, in 1841, when the parish was merged with St Peter-le-Poer.

Lost Wren Churches

It  is one of the twenty-one lost Wren churches.

St Benet Fink

A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks  its former site.  Some salvaged communion plate still  survives,  in the church of St Benet Fink  in Tottenham.  Salvaged paintings of Moses and Aaron, which were formerly part of the altar-piece, ended up  in Emmanuel School in Wandsworth.

 

St Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange

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 Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange, Bartholomew Lane (shown on east side of “Bartelmew La.” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was probably originally built in the thirteenth century, although it was first recorded in the fourteenth, in 1331, and it was subsequently rebuilt in the fifteenth, in 1438.  According to John Stow, William Capel, the Mayor  of London in 1503 and 1510, “added unto this church a proper chapel on the south side thereof, and was buried there” (in 1515).

Bank of England, St Christopher-le-Stocks and St Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange, London, c1775.

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The church was badly damaged  in the – as the Vestry minutes put it – “sadd and dreadfull” Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt again by Wren in 1675-83, only to be demolished,  to allow for the rebuilding of the Royal Exchange and the widening of Threadneedle Street, in 1840/1.

Lost Wren Churches

It  is one of the twenty-one lost Wren churches.

St Bartholomew by the Exchange

St Bartholomew by the Exchange (1)

A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks the site of the former church, and some markers the former parish boundaries.

The salvaged organ of 1731 survives, in St Vedast-alias-Foster; the salvaged pulpit,  in the church of St Bartholomew in Craven Hill in Tottenham (having been housed in St Bartholomew Moor Lane until that church was demolished to make way for the extension to the Metropolitan Line in 1902).

 

St Augustine Watling Street

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.

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St Augustine Watling Street, also known as St Augustine-by- St Paul’s or -St Paul’s Gate (“11” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as the twelfth century, and possibly as long ago as the eleventh, and extended in the thirteenth.  Writing at the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, John Stow described it as “a fair church, and lately well repaired, wherein be monuments remaining.”  It was subsequently partially rebuilt, and “every part of it richly and very worthily beautified” in 1630–1.

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The church burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren between 1680-95, and further altered in the late nineteenth century.  It was later damaged by bombing on the night of 29th December, 1940, again on 11th/12th January, 1940, and yet  again on 10th/11th May, 1941, in what the Rector, Henry Ross,  described as a “Ghastly raid”, which left the “Vestry gone; tower gone [and] everything burnt out” (after which the parish was merged with St Mary-le-Bow).  After the war, the burials were removed from the  churchyard, and some of the foundations of the Medieval church came to light.

St Augustine's Watling Street

Only the restored tower survives at the site, as part of the Cathedral Choir School of St Paul’s.  The salvaged pulpit survives in the church of St Anne and St Agnes, and the – somewhat charred – Service Register in the Guildhall Library.

The dedication is to St Augustine of Canterbury, who was sent to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity in 597.

St Antholin Watling Street

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.

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St Antholin Watling Street, also known as St Antholin Budge Row (reversed “Z” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built in the early twelfth century, around 1119, at which time it was known as St Anthony’s, St Anthonine’s or similar.  It was subsequently  “re-edified” at the turn of the fourteenth and fifteenth, between 1399-1410, at the expense of Thomas Knowles, the sometime Mayor of London, rebuilt again in 1513, and repaired in 1616, and a new gallery was added in 1623.

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The church burned down in the  Great Fire of 1666, and was rebuilt again by Wren in 1678-88, only to be demolished during the construction of Queen Victoria Street in 1874,  when the parish was merged with St Mary Aldermary.

Lost Wren Churches

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

St Antholin plaque on St Mary Aldermary

A stone tablet that marked its former site was salvaged when the site was developed to make way for Bucklersbury House, and still survives affixed to the outside wall of the church of  St Mary Aldermary.

Spire (Sydenham)

Rather remarkably, part of the spire, which had been removed and replaced in 1829, survives on the site of the house of the man who acquired it in Sydenham.

 

St Ann Blackfriars

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.

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St Ann Blackfriars (not individually identified on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built, on part of the site of the dissolved Blackfriars Priory, in 1544, and demolished, by the by-then owner of much of the site, Thomas Cawarden,  in 1550.  It was subsequently refounded by Cawarden, as Stow put it, in a “lodging chamber above a stair” in a surviving building in the former Priory precinct,  in 1558, and rebuilt, after that building collapsed, in 1597 (and extended in 1613).

The church was burned down in the Great Fire of 1666, and not rebuilt again afterwards (the parish uniting with that of St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe).

Churchyard (Church Entry)

Two portions of the graveyard, which remained open  for burials until 1849, survive, one  in Church Entry, …

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… and the other, containing part of the wall of the former Blackfriars Priory, in Ireland Yard.

Vestry Hall

The nineteenth-century Vestry Hall also survives, and is cared for by the Ancient Monuments Society and the Friends of Friendless Churches.

 

St Anne and St Agnes

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.

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St Anne and St Agnes, also known as St Anne within Aldersgate  or St Anne in the Willows (shown on “S. Anne La.” – near Aldersgate – on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London), was originally built around 1150, and subsequently rebuilt, after a fire, in around 1548.

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A, St Anne and Agnes

The church was badly damaged in the Great Fire, and rebuilt by Wren ?and Hooke, using some of the surviving structure,  between 1677-87.  It was then badly damaged again by bombing on the night of 29th December, 1940, and rebuilt again in 1963-68.   It was spared demolition after the war  “partly by the intrepidity of its vergeress, who kept it open …  even when the City Surveyor had served  a Dangerous Structure Notice”.

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Many of the interior fittings   were salvaged from St Mildred Bread Street, and the pulpit from St Augustine Watling Street.

St Andrew by the Wardrobe

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.

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St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe was originally built sometime around the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, at which time it was known as St Andrew Castle Baynard.  It changed its name after the Royal Wardrobe was built nearby in the fourteenth century,  in 1361, and is  shown by the “Wardrop”, between “Pole’s Church”  to the north-east and “Black fryers” to the south-west, on the  sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London. It was subsequently restored in the early seventeenth century, in 1627.

St Andrew by the Wardrobe

The church was burned  down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren between 1685-95, only to be gutted  by bombing on the night of 29th December,  1940, and rebuilt again in 1961.

St Andrew Castle Baynard (3)

St Andrew Castle Baynard

In the interior are a pulpit and font salvaged from  St Matthew, Friday Street, after the Great Fire.

Dissolution document (St Andrew's) - Copy

Also in the interior are a copy of the sixteenth-century document authorising the dissolution of Blackfriars Priory, which stood nearby, …

Blackfriars Priory in 1530 (St Andrew's) - Copy

… and an artist’s impression of the priory and its surroundings before the dissolution.

 

St Andrew Undershaft

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.

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St Andrew Undershaft, Leadenhall Street (“30” on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London).was originally  built in the twelfth century, and rebuilt in the fourteenth, and again, in the Perpendicular Gothic style, in around 1520-32.  The Henrician court artist Hans Holbein was a parishioner here.

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The church was undamaged both in the Great Fire of 1666 and in the Blitz of 1940-5,  although the seventeenth-century stained-glass windows were destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1992.

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Among the many memorials inside is   one to the Merchant Taylor and amateur antiquarian John Stow (d. 1605), the author of “A Survay of London”.

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Stow appears  with a quill-pen in his hand.  Every third year, on or around the anniversary of his death on April 5th, as part of a special service in his memory, he   is ceremonially presented  with a new quill (and his old one is given to the  winner of an essay competition for local children, with London as its subject).

 

 

 

St Andrew Hubbard

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 Andrew Hubbard, Eastcheap (not individually identified on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was originally built at least as long ago as 1291, being recorded in Pope Nicholas IV’s “Taxatio Ecclesiastica” of that year, and possibly as long ago as 1202,

The church was  subsequently burned  down in the Great Fire of 1666 and never rebuilt, and the parish was merged with that of St Mary-at-Hill.

St Andrew Hubbard (1) - Copy

Essentially nothing now remains of it above ground, other than parish boundary markers in Philpot Lane and Talbot Court.

Excavations in 1836 revealed that it was founded on a former Roman site.

 

St Alphage London Wall

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.

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The present church of St Alphage, London Wall (“21” (S. Tapius) on sixteenth-century “Agas” map/Map of Early Modern London) was (re-)founded in 1536 on the site of the chapel of the dissolved Elsing Spital, itself originally built – as a hospital specialising in the treatment of blind persons – in 1330/1.   The previous church,  a  little to the north, and abutting the city wall, was demolished at the same time, after having been founded at least as long ago as 1068, and possibly as long ago as 1013, that is, the year after Alphage’s martyrdom.

The church was undamaged in the Great Fire.

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However, it was  substantially rebuilt in 1777, and further restored in 1913, only to fall into disrepair, and to be partially demolished, following the merger of the parish with that of St Mary Aldermanbury in 1924.

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What was left following the aforementioned  partial demolition was substantially destroyed during the Blitz, with only a – recently conserved – partial shell surviving to this day.