Category Archives: Sir Christopher Wren

St Stephen Coleman Street

St Stephen Coleman StreetThe last but one of the series on churches built by Wren after the Great Fire of 1666 that have been lost  since …

St Stephen Coleman Street was originally built around 1214. It was burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1674-81, only to be  destroyed by incendiary bombing on 29th December, 1940.  Photographs of the church as it was before the War still survive, and a replica of the carved panel depicting the Last Judgement, clearly seen above the entrance gate in one of the photographs, also survives,  in the Museum of London.   

Entrance gate with Last Judgement panel

Entrance gate with Last Judgement panel

St Stephen Coleman Street parish boundary marker

Nothing  of the church remains at its original site, other than some parish  boundary markers bearing the insignia of the encircled cockerel.

St Stephen Coleman Street plaque

A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks the site.  Apparently Anthony Munday, who continued John Stow’s “Survay”, was buried in the church  in 1633, alongside members of the Coleman family who gave it its name.

St Mildred Poultry

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

St Mildred Poultry was originally built at least as long ago as the twelfth century, around 1175, and is possibly even of Saxon origin, bearing in mind that Mildred or Mildthryth, the daughter of one saint, the sister of two, and one herself, was born  in Mercia, in 694.  It was burnt  down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1671-4, only to be demolished  in 1872, when the parish was merged with St Olave Jewry.

St Mildred Poultry plaque

St Mildred Poultry plaque

The weather-vane in the shape of a ship salvaged from St Mildred still survives, on top of St Olave Jewry.  Some salvaged furniture also survives, in the church of St Paul in Goswell Road.  A Corporation “Blue Plaque” marks the  former site of St Mildred.

St Mildred Bread Street

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

St Mildred Bread Street was originally built around 1252.  It was badly damaged  in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt, using some of the surviving structure, by Wren in 1681-7, only to be  substantially destroyed during an air raid, and subsequently demolished, in 1941 (a photograph of the bombed church taken in 1942  still survives).

The bombed church of St  Mildred Bread Street

The bombed church of St Mildred Bread Street

Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft were married in the church in 1816.  Only a parish boundary marker survives at its former site  (actually, on Cannon Street).  Many of the interior fitting  salvaged from the church still survive, in the church of St Anne and St Agnes.

St Mildred Bread Street parish boundary marker

St Mildred Bread Street parish boundary marker

St Michael Wood Street

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

St Michael Wood Street was originally built around 1170.  It was burnt  down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1670-5, and further modified, unsympathetically,  in 1887-8, only to be demolished in 1897, when the parish was merged with St Alban Wood Street.  Essentially nothing now remains of the church on its former site, although salvaged paintings of Moses and Aaron  survive in St Anne and St Agnes.

Sometime after the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513, one of the bloodiest ever fought on British soil, between the Engish and the Scots, the decapitated head of he defeated Scottish King, James IV, came to be buried here.  According to Stow:

“After the battle the body of the said king being found was enclosed in lead, and conveyed to the monastery of Shene in Surrey.  Since the which time, workmen there, for their foolish pleasure, hewed off his head; and Lancelot Young, master glazier to his majesty, seeing the same dried from all moisture, and yet the form remaining, with the hair of the head and beard red, brought it to London to his house in Wood Street, where for a time he kept it, but in the end caused the sexton to bury it among other bones”.

Site of St Michael Wood Street

Site of St Michael Wood Street

 

St Michael Queenhithe

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

St Michael Queenhithe was originally built in the twelfth century. It was burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1676-86, only to be demolished in 1876, when the parish was merged with St James Garlickhythe.

Essentially nothing now remains of the church on its former site, although there is a parish boundary marker in Little Trinity Lane. The choir stalls and pulpit salvaged from the church still survive, in St James, and the weather-vane in the shape of a ship, on top of St Nicholas Cole Abbey. The font also survives, in the church of St Michael in Camden Town.

St Michael Queenhithe parish boundary marker

St Michael Queenhithe parish boundary marker

 

St Michael Crooked Lane

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

St Michael Crooked Lane was originally built around 1270, and much added to in the fourteenth century.  It was burnt  down in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt by Wren, or Hooke,  in 1684-98, only to be demolished   in 1831, to allow for widening of the approach to the rebuilt  London Bridge, when the parish was merged with St Magnus the Martyr.

Essentially nothing now remains of the church on its former site, although there  is a parish boundary marker on the tower of St Magnus the Martyr.  The so-called “Falstaff” Cup of 1590 was salvaged from St Michael’s, and still survives, in the Treasury of St Paul’s.  According to legend, this is the cup on which, in the “Boar’s Head” Tavern (where St Michael’s held its vestry meetings), Sir John Falstaff swore to wed Mistress Quickly.

St Michael Crooked Lane parish boundary marker

St Michael Crooked Lane parish boundary marker

A fine painting of St Michael’s  in 1830/1, by George Scharf, also survives, a  reproduction of which was used by both Huelin and Jeffery on the covers of their books (another, by Canaletto, hangs in the Guildhall Art Gallery).  The inscription on one of the graves in the churchyard  was immortalised  by the antiquarian John Weever, in his book “Ancient funerall monuments within the united monarchie of Great Britaine, Ireland, and the islands adiacent”, published in 1631.  It reads:

“Here lyeth, wrapt in clay,

The body of William Wray.

I have no more to say”.

 

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