Category Archives: Lost Wren churches

St Michael Bassishaw

Demolished in 1900

Demolished in 1900

Another in the occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since …

St Michael Bassishaw was originally built in around 1141, and rebuilt in the fifteenth century.  It was burnt  down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1676-9, only to be allowed to fall into disrepair, and to be declared an unsafe structure in 1892, and demolished in 1900, when the parish was merged with St Lawrence Jewry.

A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks the former site of the church.   The weather-vane salvaged from the church still survives, atop St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe.  An early nineteenth-century painting of the church by William Pearson also survives,  in the Guildhall Art Gallery. A “Museum of London Archaeology Service” monograph  deals with the finds from the church.

Blue Plaque at the site of the church, near the Guildhall

Blue Plaque at the site of the church, near the Guildhall

 

St Matthew Friday Street

Another in the occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since …

St Matthew Friday StSt Matthew Friday Street was originally built around 1261.  It was  burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1681-7, only to be demolished  in 1881, when the parish was merged with St Vedast-alias-Foster.

Only some parish boundary  markers survive at its former site.   Some salvaged interior fittings also survive, in St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe and St Vedast-alias-Foster.

St Matthew Friday Street parish boundary marker

St Matthew Friday Street parish boundary marker

Sir Hugh Myddelton (1555-1631), one of the architects of  the “New River”, was buried in St Matthew’s, where he had served as a warden.  Concerted attempts to locate his coffin and monument following the church’s demolition were ultimately unsuccessful.

 

St Mary Magdalen Old Fish Street

Another in the occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since …

St Mary Magdelen Old Fish StSt Mary Magdalen Old Fish Street was originally built around 1181.  It was burnt  down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1683-7, only to be substantially destroyed by another fire in 1886, and subsequently demolished in 1893, when the parish was merged with St Martin Ludgate.

Essentially nothing now remains of the church at its former site.   Some salvaged interior fittings survive in St Martin Ludgate, including a plaque of 1586 honouring a benefactor, believed to be Thomas Beri or Berrie.  The salvaged font survives in All Hallows-on-the-Wall.

Site of St Mary Magdalen Old Fish Street

Site of St Mary Magdalen Old Fish Street

St Mary Aldermanbury

Another in the occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since …

Lost Wren Churches St Mary AldermanburySt Mary Aldermanbury, also known as St Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, was originally built in around 1181, and extended in  1438.  It was burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1671-5, and further modified in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, only to be  substantially destroyed by incendiary bombing on 29th December, 1940, after which the parish was eventually merged with St Vedast-alias-Foster.

Only the foundations remain at the site today, together with a city garden created in 1966.

Surviving foundations of church

Surviving foundations of church

Much of the building material salvaged from the church survives, in the   remarkable recent reconstruction, true to Wren’s design,  in the grounds of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri (where Winston Churchill made his famous “iron curtain” speech).

Image of reconstructed church in Fulton, Missoury

Image of reconstructed church in Fulton, Missoury

St Alban Wood Street and St Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury parish boundary markers, Love Lane

St Alban Wood Street and St Mary the Virgin Aldermanbury parish boundary markers, Love Lane

 

St George Botolph Lane

Another in the occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since …

Lost Wren ChurchesSt George Botolph Lane was originally built in around 1180.  It was burnt down in the  Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1671-6, using material from the old St Paul’s, only to be allowed to fall into disrepair, and declared an unsafe structure and demolished in 1904, when the parish was merged with St Mary-at-Hill.

St George Botolph Lane

Essentially nothing now remains of the church at its former site, other than the name, which lives on in that of St George’s Lane, and parish boundary markers in  Botolph Alley and on Pudding Lane.

Two seventeenth-century chairs salvaged from the church survive, in St Margaret Pattens.

 

Lost Wren churches – St Christopher-le-Stocks

Another in the occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since …

St Christopher le StocksSt Christopher-le-Stocks was originally built around 1225, and added to in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, badly damaged in the  Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren, in 1669-71, using some surviving materials, and by Dickinson, in 1711-4, only to be demolished in 1781, to allow for improvements to the security  of the Bank of England after the previous year’s Gordon Riots, wherepon  the parish was merged with St Margaret Lothbury.

Only  parish boundary markers survive at its former site.

St Bartholomew by the Exchange, St Christopher le Stocks and St Margaret Lothbury parish boundary markers, Bank of England

St Bartholomew by the Exchange, St Christopher le Stocks and St Margaret Lothbury parish boundary markers, Bank of England

Some salvaged  interior fittings survive in St Margaret Lothbury, including the bronze head by Hubert le Sueur (who also made the equestrian statue of Charles I at Charing Cross), and the paintings of Moses and Aaron.   The salvaged reredos survives in St Vedast-alias-Foster (and the pulpit in St Nicholas  in Canewdon in Essex).   A thirteenth-century gravestone, discovered during the rebuilding of the Bank in 1934, can be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Lost Wren Churches – St Benet Gracechurch

Another in the occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since …

St Benet GracechurchSt Benet Gracechurch was originally built sometime before 1291, burnt down  in the  Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1681-7, only to be demolished, to allow for road-widening, in 1867-8, when the parish was merged with All Hallows Lombard Street.  A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks  its former site.  The salvaged seventeenth-century pulpit survives in St Olave Hart Street.

St Benet Gracechurch plaque

St Benet Gracechurch and All Hallows Lombard Street parish boundary markers

St Benet Gracechurch and All Hallows Lombard Street parish boundary markers

Lost Wren churches – St Benet Fink

Another in the occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since …

St Benet Fink drawingSt Benet Fink, Threadneedle Street was originally built in around 1216, burnt down  in the  Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1670-5, only to be demolished, to make way for the rebuilding of the Royal Exchange, in 1841, when the parish was merged with St Peter-le-Poer.  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 Benet Fink plaque

 

Lost Wren churches – St Bartholomew by the Exchange

Lost Wren Churches

Another in the occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since …

St Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange was probably originally built in the thirteenth century, although first recorded in the fourteenth, in 1438, and subsequently rebuilt in the fifteenth, in 1438 (William Capel, sometime Mayor of London, adding a chapel in the sixteenth, in around 1509).  The church was badly damaged  in the  Great Fire, and rebuilt 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.  A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks  its former site.

St Bartholomew by the Exchange plaque

St Bartholomew by the Exchange plaque

The salvaged organ of 1731 survives, in St Vedast-alias-Foster.  The salvaged pulpit also survives,  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 Bartholomew by the Exchange, St Christopher le Stocks and St Margaret Lothbury parish boundary markers, Bank of England

St Bartholomew by the Exchange, St Christopher le Stocks and St Margaret Lothbury parish boundary markers, Bank of England

St Bartholomew by the Exchange parish boundary markers

St Bartholomew by the Exchange parish boundary marker

 

Lost Wren churches – St Antholin

Another in the occasional series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since.

St Antholin Watling Street, also known as St Antholin Budge Row 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, and 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, with a  new gallery being added in 1623.

St_Antholin_Cruse

lost-wren-churches-e1413241207284

The church burned down in the  Great Fire, and was rebuilt 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.

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.