|London’s Mediæval Parish Churches: Part 4 – From Cheapside to Ludgate and Without the Walls|
Posted on Aug 09, 2002 – 08:28 AM by Bill McCann
The Mediæval London skyline was dominated by church spires. There were 126 parish churches crammed into the “Square Mile” in the 12th century. By the 14th century the number had been reduced to 110. This is the last in a series of four articles which provides a brief description and history of each mediæval parish church. Where possible the dates of foundation or the date of the first documentary reference are given. The dates of destruction, reconstruction and suppression, where appropriate, are given for each parish church. These articles are the prologue to a more comprehensive coverage of the individual parish churches which will follow later in the year.
The Church was one of the most important agencies in the shaping and characterisation of mediæval London. Not only was London the seat of an important Bishopric but it also had a large number of wealthy monasteries, friaries and nunneries within the City walls or just outside. And it had more than 100 Parish Churches. The panorama of the city above shows how in 1611, the skyline was dominated by church spires. This series of articles lists the Mediæval parish churches whose names are known to us. For each is given the common name used today together with the original or alternative names where applicable, the date of its original foundation if known, its location and the dates of reconstruction and/or destruction. For ease of future reference, the churches are numbered consecutively from east to west. Detailed descriptions of individual churches will follow in later articles. There are links to other articles in the series at the end of the article.A: Churches within the WallsFrom Cheapside to LudgateSt Anne and St Agnes
83. St. Vedast alias Foster
Situated on east side of Foster Lane, off Cheapside EC2
First mentioned in 1170, rebuilt in 1519 and repaired in 1614. Destroyed in1666 and rebuilt by Wren in 1670-3. The Baroque steeple was added in 1694-7. Damaged by bombs in 1941 and restored by Stephen Dykes-Bower. East windows by Brian Thomas.
84. St. Anne and St. Agnes
Also St. Anne, St. Anne near Aldergate, St. Anne in the Willows, St Anne and St Agnes within Aldersgate.
Situated Gresham Street EC2
First mentioned in 1137. Burnt down in 1548 and rebuilt. Tower repaired in 1629-30. Destroyed in1666 and rebuilt by Wren 1676-87. Badly damaged in 1940. Rebuilt by Braddock and Martin-Smith in 1963-8.
Parish united with St. John Zachary in 1670 and with St. Vedast Foster Lane in 1954.
St Mary Somerset
85. St Mary Somerset
Situated Upper Thames Street EC4
First mentioned in 12th century. Repaired in 1624 but destroyed in the Great Fire. Rebuilt by Wren 1686-95. Demolished in 1872 but the tower was preserved.
Parish united with St Nicholas Cole Abbey 1866.
86. St Leonard Foster Lane >/font>
Situated Foster Lane EC2
First mentioned in 1278. Enlarged and repaired in 1631 but destroyed in the Great Fire and not rebuilt.
Parish united with Christchurch Newgate Street 1670, St Sepulchre Holborn 1954.
St Augustine87. St Augustine at St Paul’s Gate
Also St Augustine Watling Street, St Augustine With St Faith, St Augustine by St Paul’s Churchyard
Situated Watling Street EC4First mentioned in 1148. Enlarged and repaired in 1630-1. Destroyed in the Great Fire and rebuilt as a small church by Wren 1680-7. Spire completed in 1695. Restored in 1829 and 1866. Bombed in 1940 and only the tower and spire remained. Tower restored in 1954 and a new spire, a copy of the old one, was erected. Now used by St Paul’s Choir School.
Parish united with St Faith in 1670 and St Mary le Bow in 1954.
St Michael88. St Michael at Corn
Also St Michael Le Querne, St Michael ad Bladum
Situated Paternoster Row EC4
First mentioned in 1181 and a corn market was sometimes held in the churchyard.Destroyed in the Great Fire and not rebuilt.Parish united with St Vedast Foster Lane.
89. St Nicholas Cole Abbey
Situated Queen Victoria Street EC4
First mentioned in a letter of Pope Lucius in 1144.Close association with the fish market close by which was established in 1272. Destroyed in the Great Fire and rebuilt by Wren 1671-77. Gutted by fire bombs in 1941 and restored to Wren’s original design in 1962.90. St Mary Mounthaw
Situated Fish Street Hill EC4
First mentioned in 1272 as a small private chapel for the Montenhaut family.Destroyed in the Great Fire and not rebuilt.
Parish united with St Mary Somerset 1670 and St Nicholas Cole Abbey 1866.
91. St Faith Under St Paul’s
Situated under St Paul’s Cathedral EC4
Originally a small parish church for the people of Paternoster Row and St Paul’s Churchyard. In 1256 it was incorporated beneath the new extension of the choir of the Cathedral. Associated with the Booksellers of Paternoster Row. Not re-established after the Great fire.
Parish united with St Augustine Watling Street 1670 and St Mary le Bow 1954.
St Mary Magdalen
92. St Mary Magdalen Old Fish Street
Also St Mary Magdalen Knightrider Street
Situated Old Fish Street EC4
First mentioned in 12th century. Destroyed in the Great Fire and rebuilt by Wren. Damaged by fire in 1886 and consequently demolished.
Parish united with St Martin Ludgate 1890.93. St Nicholas Shambles
Also St Nicholas in the Shambles, St Nicholas by the Shambles
Situated Newgate Street EC1
First mentioned in 1196. Situated beside and abbatoir (shambles). Demolished in 1547.
Amalgamated with St Ewin to form Christchurch Newgate Street in 1547.
St Dunstan’s Clock
94. St Peter Paul’s Wharf
Also St Peter the Little Paul’s Wharf
Situated Upper Thames Street EC4
First mentioned in 1170 and a churchyard was added in 1430. Repaired in 1625 and 1655. Destroyed in the Great Fire and not rebuilt.
Parish united with St Benet Paul’s Wharf in1670, St Nicholas Cole Abbey in 1879 and St Andrew by the Wardrobe in 1954.95. St Benet Paul’s Wharf
Also St Benet Woodwharf, St Benet’s Welsh Church
Situated Upper Thames Street/White Lion Hill/Queen Victoria Street EC4
First mentioned in 12th century. Destroyed in the Great Fire and rebuilt by Wren 1677-83. The church has been used by a Welsh congregation since 1879.
Parish united with St Nicholas Cole Abbey 1879.
St Gregory96. St Gregory By St Paul’s
Also St Gregory by Paul’s
Situated St Paul’s EC4
First mentioned in 1010 and stood at south-west corner of the cathedral. Repaired and beautified in 1631-2. Partly demolished by Inigo Jones in 1641 to make way for new portico but restored by him by order of the House of Lords. Destroyed in the Great Fire and not rebuilt.
Parish united with St Mary Magdalen Old Fish Street in 1670, St Martin Ludgate in 1890 and St Sepulchre Holborn in 1954.
97. St Andrew by The Wardrobe
Also St Andre de Castello, St Andrew Castle Baynard
Situated Queen Victoria Street EC4
First mentioned in 1244 present name established after 1361 when the King’s Wardrobe was established here. Repaired and beautified in 1627. Destroyed in the Great Fire and rebuilt by Wren 1685-95. Destroyed by incendiary bombs 1940 and rebuilt 1959-61 to a design by Marshall Sisson which used Wren’s original plans.br>98. St Ewin
Also St Audoen
Situated Newgate Street EC1
First mentioned in 1220. Very little is known about it. Demolished in 1547.
Amalgamated with St Nicholas shambles to form Christchurch Newgate Street in 1547.
St Martin99. St Martin LudgateAlso St Martin within LudgateSituated Ludgate Hill EC4First mentioned in 1174. Destroyed in the Great Fire and rebuilt by wren 1677-84. Now a Guild Church.
B: Churches without the WallsSt Botolph Aldgate100. St Botolph Without Aldgate
Also St Botolph Aldgate
Situated Aldgate EC3
Established in 10th/11th century. Given to the Priory of Holy Trinity in 1115. Reverted to Crown on suppression of Priory in 1532. Repaired in 1727. Rebuilt by George Dance 1740-1744. Restoration in 1958-66 was by Rodney Tatchell.
St Botolph Bishopsgate101. St Botolph Without BishopsgateAlso St Botolph BishopsgateSituated Bishopsgate EC2First mentioned in 1212. Rebuilt 1571-2. Demolished in 1724 and rebuilt by George Dance the elder 1725-8. Glass dome added in 1821. Damaged in Second World War and restored by N F Cachemaille-Day.Parish amalgamated with All Hallows London Wall in 1954.
St Olave102. St Olave SouthwarkSituated Tooley Street SE1
First mentioned in 1281. Traditionally built after the death of Cnut in1035 and dedicated to St Olaf who was martyred in 1030. In 1719, the bells were re-cast, and two were added to them. In disrepair in 1736 and subsequently rebuilt. Demolished 1926, tower survived.
Parish amalgamated with that of St Thomas in 1926.
St Giles103. St Giles CripplegateSituated Fore Street EC2First mentioned in 11th century. Rebuilt 1537 and again in 1545-50 after a fire.Reduced to ruins by an air raid in Second World War and rebuilt by Godfrey Allen 1952-60.
St Botolph Aldersgate
104. St Botolph Without Aldersgate
Also St Botolph Aldersgate
Situated Aldersgate EC1
Built 10th/11th century. Rebuilt in 1627. Slightly damaged in the Great Fire. Rebuilt by Nathaniel Wright 1788-91. West front stuccoed 1831. Became a Guild church 1954 and churchyard is now a garden.
Parish divided between St Giles Gripplegate and St Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield 1954.
Holy Sepulcre105. St Sepulchre
Also Holy Sepulcre Without Newgate
Situated Holborn Viaduct EC1
First mentioned in 1137, originally dedicated to St Edmund. Rebuilt 1450. Damaged but not completely destroyed in the Great Fire, it was rebuilt on the same foundations by Joshua Marchall and re-opened in 1670. Exterior alterations in 1790 and 1879 when tower was restored. Became the Musician’s Chapel in 1955 and memorial windows erected in 1963. Still retains its large parish.
106. St Bride Fleet Street
Situated Bride Lane EC4
Archaeological evidence dates it first Irish settlement in London in the 6th century. Rebuilt in the 12th century and again in the 15th. Destroyed in the Great Fire and rebuilt by Wren, the spire being added in 1703. A lightening strike in 1764 knocked eight feet off the spire. Damaged by bombs in 1940 it was restored by Godfrey Allen and rededicated in 1957.
107. St Andrew HolbornSituated Holborn Circus EC1
First mentioned in 951. Rebuilt 1446 and repaired in 1632. Escaped damage in the Great Fire but was rebuilt by Wren 1684-90. Tower refaced and heightened in 1703. Drastically restored in 1871-2 and severely damaged by bombs in 1941. Rebuilt in its original form by Seely and Paget 1960-1. Reconsecrated in 1961.
Parish united with St Bride’s Fleet Street 1954.
108. St Dunstan In The West
Also St Dunstan’s Over Against the New Temple
Situated Fleet Street EC4
First mentioned in 1185. Present name appeared in 1278. Chapel of St Katherine erected 1421. The Great Fire was contained only yards from the building and the clock erected in 1671 as a thanksgiving. Extensively repaired in 1701. Demolished to allow widening of Fleet Street in 1830 and rebuilt 1831-3 on the smaller site without the clock which was bought by the Marquess of Hertford. This was restored by Lord Rothermere in 1935.
St Clement’s109. St Clement DanesSituated Strand WC2
First mentioned in late 10th/early 11th century when wooden church was rebuilt in stone. Transferred to Knights Templar in 1189 and, after their suppression, by Austin Friars. Secularised in 14th century. Escaped the Great Fire but was pronounced unsafe in 1679 and was rebuilt by Wren. Tower heightened by 25 feet in1719. Bombed in 1941 when the interior was gutted. Reconstruction by W A S Lloyd completed in 1958. Now the central church for the RAF.
Memorial to Lady Arabella in Savoy Chapel110. St Mary Savoy
Also Savoy Chapel
Situated Savoy Street WC2
Built as part of Savoy Palace 1345-70 and dedicated to St John the Baptist. Destroyed in the Peasant’s Revolt 1381. Rebuilt in 1510 as part of Savoy Hospital and gallery added 1518. When Somerset House was built in 1549 the parish church of the Nativity of Our Lady and the Innocents was demolished and the dispossessed parishioners thereafter used the Savoy Chapel. Extensively repaired in 1732. South wall and tower rebuilt by Robert Smirke 1820-1. Damaged by fire 1843 and restored by Sydney Smirke. Damaged again by fire in 1864 and rebuilt again by Smirke 1864-5 Became chapel of Royal Victorian Order in 1937 and given title of the King’s Chapel of the Savoy in 1939. Alterations carried out in 1957-8.