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Épater la Bourgeoisie
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Discussion Starter #1
A tour of City Of London Churches. I had to leave out a few, so sorry for that, I also would like to apologise for the quality of some of the shots ; Im not used to shooting interiors. The thread is quite picture heavy so be patient and if some of them wont show up - just hit refresh. Lets go! ;)

Text from Wiki.

St Botolph's Aldgate

The first written record of this church appears in 1115 when it was received by the Holy Trinity Priory but the parochial foundations may very well be pre-1066. The church was rebuilt in the 16th Century and then again between 1741-1744 to designs by George Dance the Elder. The church is a short walk away from Mitre Square, the site of the murder of Catherine Eddowes by Jack the Ripper as well as easy access to the other 4 murder sites off 1888. It was often referred to as the "Church of Prostitutes" in the late Victorian period for a very strange reason. The church is situated on an island of land surrounded by roadways. It was common in Victorian times to be suspicious of women stood on street corners and so the this made them easy targets for the police. To avoid this the prostitutes would parade around the island that the church and Aldgate tube station now occupy, thus avoiding "hanging around an street corners".

St Katherine Cree

The parish served by the church is an extremely ancient one; it existed as early as 1108, when it was served by the Augustinian Holy Trinity Priory, Aldgate, which was also known as Christ Church, which was founded by Maud, queen at the time of King Henry I The site of the present church was originally the priory's churchyard and it is possible that the church had its origins in a cemetery chapel. The parishioners used the priory church but this proved unsatisfactory and disruptive to the priory's activities. The prior partially resolved the problem in 1280 with the foundation of St Katharine Cree as a separate church for the use of the parishioners. It took its name from the priory - "Cree" is a corrupted abbreviation of "Christ Church". The present church dates from 1631, with only the tower (dating to 1504) retained from the previous building. St Katharine Cree is regarded as one of the most significant churches of the Jacobean period, a time when church-building was at a historically low ebb. It is the only Jacobean church to have survived in London. It has a handsome if somewhat inconsistent interior, with a high nave flanked by two arcades lined with Corinthian columns. The vaulted ceiling displays bosses bearing the arms of the City Livery Companies; this dates mostly from the restoration of 1962. The chancel possesses a fine rose window, reputedly modelled on the much larger rose window of Old St Paul's Cathedral (lost in the Great Fire). The stained glass, depicting a catherine wheel is original, dating from 1630, and the font likewise dates from around 1640.

St Helen's Bishopsgate

St Helen's Bishopsgate dates from 1210, when it was part of a priory for Benedictine nuns. It is unusual in that it was designed around two parallel naves, which give it a wide interior. Inside are many fifteenth and seventeenth century funerary monuments, including that of Sir Andrew Judd (d.1558), Sir William Pickering (d.1574) and Sir John Crosby (d.1475). It was the parish church of William Shakespeare when he lived in the area in the 1590s. It is one of only a few City churches to survive both the Great Fire of London of 1666 and The Blitz during World War II.

St Ethelburga's Bishopsgate

This structure is a rare survival of the medieval City churches that were mostly destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666. It is dedicated to St Ethelburga, a 7th century abbess of Barking; she was the sister of Saint Erkenwald, a Bishop of London. Its foundation date is unknown, but it was first recorded in 1250 as the church of St Adelburga-the-Virgin. The dedication to "-the-Virgin" was dropped in Puritan times but was later restored. The church was rebuilt in the 15th century – possibly around 1411 – and a small square bell turret was added in 1775. In order to raise revenue for the church, whose parish covered just three acres (12,000 m²), a wooden porch was built over its exterior in the 16th century to house two shops. It underwent major changes in 1932, when Bishopsgate was controversially widened. The shops were demolished and the porch dismantled, revealing the façade of the church for the first time in centuries.

St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate

The church is situated on Bishopsgate, outside where the former gate stood, near Liverpool Street station. Adjoining the buildings is a substantial churchyard — running along the back of Wormwood Street, the former course of London Wall — and a former school. The church is linked with the Worshipful Company of Bowyers. Christian worship on this site may have Roman origins, though this is not fully proven. At one point the satirist and essayist Stephen Gosson was rector. The present church (the fourth on the site) was completed by George Dance the Elder in 1725, the previous one having survived the Great Fire of London in 1666 only to be demolished in 1725. During construction, the foundations of the original Anglo-Saxon Church were discovered.

All Hallows-on-the-Wall

The present church was constructed by George Dance the Younger in 1767, replacing an earlier church built some time in the early 12th century on a bastion of the old Roman wall. It became renowned for its hermits, who lived in cells in the church. All Hallows escaped destruction in the Great Fire of London in 1666 due to its position under the wall, but subsequently fell into dereliction. Dance rebuilt the church when he was only 24 years old. He had recently returned from Italy where he had conducted detailed studies of Classical buildings. The new All Hallows took its inspiration from the Classical world and was remarkably simple in form, with no aisles; its interior consists solely of a barrel-vaulted nave with a half-dome apse at the far end, with decoration deriving from the ancient Temple of Venus and Rome in the city of Rome. Its exterior is plain brick. All Hallows was damaged during the Second World War but was restored in the early 1960s.

St Peter upon Cornhill

An inscription in the churchyard claims that St Peter upon Cornhill is the earliest Christianised site in Britain, founded by the first Christian King, Lucius in 187. There is no solid archeological evidence of any Christian church in the United Kingdom during Roman times, although the site may have been the location of a Roman basilica. The current structure was built by Christopher Wren in 1677 - 1687. Charles Dickens mentions the churchyard in "Our Mutual Friend".

St Michael, Cornhill

The church has one of the oldest sets of churchwarden's records in the City of London, which are now kept in the Guildhall Library. Wren's tower was replaced in 1715 with a pinnacled structure (completed in 1722), officially by Wren (who was 90 at the time) but the design bears a strong resemblance to the work of Wren's apprentice Nicholas Hawksmoor, who would create similar towers on Westminster Abbey's West End. The Gothic styled porch (1858-1860) facing Cornhill is a Victorian addition by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

St Mary Woolnoth

The church's site has been used for worship for at least 2,000 years; traces of Roman and pagan religious buildings have been discovered under the foundations of the present church, along with the remains of an Anglo-Saxon wooden structure. Its name is first recorded in 1191 as Wilnotmaricherche. It is believed that the name "Woolnoth" refers to a benefactor, possibly one Wulnoth de Walebrok who is known to have lived in the area earlier in the 12th century. Its full dedication is to St. Mary Woolnoth of the Nativity. The present building is at least the third church on the site. The Norman church survived until 1445, when it was rebuilt, with a spire added in 1485. It was badly damaged in 1666 in the Great Fire of London but was repaired by Sir Christopher Wren. The church was rebuilt by the Commission for Building Fifty New Churches, financed by the coal tax of 1711. The new church was completed in 1716, commissioned from Nicholas Hawksmoor, who had responded with one of his most distinctive and original designs.

St Edmund, King and Martyr

In 1292, the church is first recorded as 'Saint Edmund towards Garcherche', and it reappears in 1348 as 'Saint Edmund in Lombardestrete'. John Stow, in his Survey of London 1598, revised during 1603, refers to it also as St Edmund Grass Church. This medieval church was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, and Sir Christopher Wren built the present building 1670-1679, with a tower designed like a lighthouse ornamented at the angles by flaming urns in allusion to the Great Fire. The position of the church is unusual as it is orientated with the altar at the north, instead of east. Joseph Addison the poet was married here in 1716. The church was restored in 1864 and 1880. It was damaged by bombing in 1917. It has been the London Centre for Spirituality and the associated bookshop since 2001 and is still a consecrated Church.

St Mary-at-Hill

Rebuilt many times, St Mary-at-Hill was originally founded in the 12th Century], where it was first known as "St. Mary de Hull" or " St. Mary de la Hulle". John Stow's "Survey of London" (1598) mentioned that a church has stood on this site since at least the 14th century. It was rebuilt in the 15th Century only to be destroyed in the Great Fire of London, which began only a few feet away in Pudding Lane. The shape of the current church is based on the rebuilding of Christopher Wren between 1670 and 1676, although it has been renovated since by George Gwilt in 1787-8, and James Savage in 1827 and 1848-9, latterly after a fire. The roof and interior were damaged by fire yet again on 10 May 1988 and it was restored in 1991.

St Margaret Pattens

The church was first recorded in 1067, at which time the church was probably built from wood. It was rebuilt in stone at some unknown subsequent date but fell into disrepair and had to be demolished in 1530. It was rebuilt in 1538 but was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The present church was built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1687. It is one of only a few City churches to have escaped significant damage in the Second World War.

St Olave Hart Street

The church is first recorded in the 13th century as St Olave-towards-the-Tower, a stone building replacing the earlier (presumably wooden) construction. It is dedicated to the patron saint of Norway, King Olaf II of Norway, who fought alongside the Anglo-Saxon King Ethelred the Unready against the Danes in the Battle of London Bridge in 1014. He was canonised after his death and the church of St Olave's was built apparently on the site of the battle. The Norwegian connection was reinforced during the Second World War when King Haakon VII of Norway worshipped there while in exile. Saint Olave's was rebuilt in the 13th century and then again in the 15th century. The present building dates from around 1450. Saint Olave's survived the Great Fire thanks to the efforts of Sir William Penn, the father of the more famous William Penn who founded Pennsylvania. The flames came within 100 meters or so of the building, but then the wind changed direction, saving the church and a number of other churches on the eastern side of the City. However, it was gutted by German bombs in 1941 during the London Blitz. and was restored in 1954, with King Haakon returning to preside over the rededication ceremony, during which he laid a stone from Trondheim Cathedral in front of the sanctuary. St Olave's has a modest exterior in the Perpendicular Gothic style with a somewhat squat square tower of stone and brick, the latter added in 1732. It is deservedly famous for the macabre 1658 entrance arch to the churchyard, which is decorated with grinning skulls. The novelist Charles Dickens was so taken with this that he included the church in his Uncommon Traveller, renaming it "St Ghastly Grim". The church was a favourite of the diarist Samuel Pepys, who worked in the nearby Navy Office and worshipped regularly at St Olave's. He referred to it affectionately in his diary as "our own church" and both he and his wife are buried there, in the nave.

All Hallows-by-the-Tower

All Hallows-by-the-Tower was first established in 675 by the Saxon Abbey at Barking and was for many years named after the abbey, as All Hallows Barking. The church was built on the site of a former Roman building, traces of which have been discovered in the crypt. It was expanded and rebuilt several times between the 11th century and 15th century. Its proximity to the Tower meant that it acquired royal connections, with Edward IV making it a royal chantry and the beheaded victims of Tower executions being sent for temporary burial at All Hallows. The church was badly damaged by a nearby explosion in 1649, which demolished its west tower, and only narrowly survived the Great Fire of London in 1666. It owed its survival to Admiral William Penn, father of William Penn of Pennsylvania fame, who saved it by having the surrounding buildings demolished to create firebreaks. During the Great Fire, Samuel Pepys climbed its spire to watch the progress of the fire. Restored in the late 19th century, All Hallows was gutted by German bombers during the London Blitz in World War II and required extensive reconstruction, only being rededicated in 1957. Many portions of the old church survived the war and have been sympathetically restored. Its outer walls are 15th century, with a 7th century Saxon doorway surviving from the original church. Many brasses remain in the interior. Three outstanding wooden statues of saints dating from the 15th and 16th centuries can also be found in the church, as can an exquisite Baptismal font cover which was carved in 1682 by Grinling Gibbons for £12, and which is regarded by many as one of the finest pieces of carving in London. In 1999 the AOC Archaeology Group excavated the cemetery and made many significant discoveries. The church has a museum called the Undercroft Museum, containing portions of a Roman pavement together with many artifacts was discovered many feet below the church in 1926. The altar in the Undercroft is of plain stone from the castle of King Richard I at Athlit in Palestine. All Hallows-by-the-Tower is celebrated and remembered throughout the world in the use of its name both in Dublin (All Hallows College) and in Brisbane, Australia (All Hallows' School). It has been the Guild church of Toc-H since 1922. The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 04 January 1950.

St Dunstan-in-the-East

The church was built about 1100. It was severely damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Rather than being completely rebuilt, the damaged church was patched up between 1668 and 1671. A steeple, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, was added 30 years later. This was unusual in that Wren designed it in the Gothic style, to match the old church. By the early 19th century the church was in a very poor state; and it was rebuilt between 1817 and 1821 by David Laing, with assistance by William Tite. Wren's steeple was retained in the new building. The church was severely damaged in the Blitz of 1941, during the Second World War. In the re-organisation of the Anglican Church in London following the War it was decided not to rebuild St Dunstan's, and in 1967 the City of London Corporation decided to turn the ruins of the church into a public garden. This was opened in 1971.

St Magnus-the-Martyr

The church is dedicated to St Magnus, Earl of Orkney, who died in 1117. It is mis-named as St Magnus was not martyred for his religious beliefs but was executed after being captured during a power struggle with his cousin, a political rival. The church of St Magnus is mentioned in the Westminster Charter, dated 1067. However, this document is now accepted to be a 12th century forgery. The first church on the site was probably built in the early 12th century. St Magnus' was one of the first buildings to be destroyed in the Great Fire of London, in 1666, as it stood less than 300 yards from Pudding Lane, where the fire started. It was rebuilt by 1676, under the direction of Sir Christopher Wren. A steeple, copied from the church of St Charles Borromée, in Antwerp, was added thirty years later. In the vestibule of the church stands a fine model of Old London Bridge. One of the tiny figures on the bridge appears out of place in the medieval setting, wearing a policeman's uniform. This is rumoured to be a representation of the model-maker who was formerly in the police service. In 1896 many bodies were disinterred from the churchyard and reburied at Brookwood Cemetery. In 1921 two stones from Old London Bridge were discovered across the road from the church. They now stand in the churchyard. In 1931 a piling from a Roman river wall was discovered during the excavation of the foundations of a nearby building. It now stands in the church porch. One of the windows in the north wall dates from 1671 and is from the old Plumber's Hall. The windows in the south wall are all modern and represent lost churches associated with the parish: St Magnus and his ruined church of Egilsay, St Margaret with her lost church in New Fish Street (where the Monument to the Great Fire now stands), St Michael with his lost church of Crooked Lane (demolished to make way for the present King William Street) and St Thomas Becket with his chapel on Old London Bridge.

St Michael Paternoster Royal

Pre-Fire London had 7 churches dedicated to the Archangel Michael, all but one (St Michael le Querne) of which were rebuilt after the Fire. The earliest record of St Michael’s is as St Michael of Paternosterchierch and is dated 1219. The suffix comes from its location on Paternoster Lane, (now College Hill), which, in turn was named after the sellers of paternosters - or rosaries - based there. The suffix Royal is first recorded in the next century and refers to another nearby street, now vanished, called Le Ryole, which was a corruption of La Reole, a town near Bordeaux. This street was so named due to the presence of many wine merchants. A neighbour in the early 15th century was Richard Whittington, four times Lord Mayor of London. One of his earlier philanthropic acts, made in 1409, was to pay for the rebuilding and extension of St Michael Paternoster Royal after a vacant plot of land was acquired in Le Ryole. Whittington was buried in St Michael’s in 1423 on the south side of the altar near his wife, Alice. John Stow records that Whittington’s body was dug up by the rector, Thomas Mountain, during the reign of Edward VI, in the belief that he had been buried with treasure. He was not, so Mountain took his leaden shroud. The grave was dug up again during the reign of Mary I and his body recovered in lead. An attempt to find his grave in 1949 did uncover a mummified cat, but no Lord Mayor. After the church’s destruction in the Fire, the parish was united with that of St Martin Vintry, also destroyed but not rebuilt. Construction of the new church began in 1685 (one of the last of the 51 churches to be rebuilt) and stopped in 1688 owing to the financial uncertainty associated with the Glorious Revolution. Building began again the next year and finished in 1694. The steeple was built between 1713 and 1717.

St James Garlickhythe

The church is dedicated to the disciple St James known as ‘the Great’. St. James Garlickhythe is a stop on a pilgrim’s route ending at the cathedral of Santiago da Compostela. Visitors to the London church may have their credencial, or pilgrim passport, stamped with the impression of a scallop shell. 'Garlickhythe' refers to the nearby landing place, or "hythe", near which garlic was sold in medieval times. The earliest surviving reference to the church is as ‘ecclesiam Sancti Jacobi’ in a 12th century will. Other records of the church refer to it as ‘St James in the Vintry’, ‘St James Comyns’, ‘St James-by-the-Thames’ and ‘St James super Ripam’. The ships from France loaded with garlic also carried wine and St James has a long association with wine merchants.

St Mary Aldermary

There has been a church on this site for over 900 years and its name is usually taken to mean that it is the oldest of the City churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary. St Mary Aldermary was greatly damaged in London's Great Fire of 1666 although parts of its walls and tower survived. It was mostly rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren in a Gothic style. St Mary Aldermary was damaged by German bombs in the London Blitz during the Second World War. All the windows were shattered and some plaster fell from the vaulting but the building itself remained intact. The church has been repaired and restored many times over the years. The latest interior restoration was finished in April 2005.

St Vedast Foster Lane

The original church of St Vedast was founded before 1308 and was extensively repaired in the seventeenth century. Although the church was not completely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, but required substantial reconstruction by the office of Sir Christopher Wren between 1670 and 1673 with only small parts of the older fabric surviving to be incorporated. In 1697, a bell tower was added; and, in 1703, a spire, possibly to the designs of Nicholas Hawksmoor. Wren's church was gutted a second time by firebombs during the London blitz of 1940 and 1941. A proposal by Sir Hugh Casson to leave the ruins as a war memorial was not implemented. The church is noted for its small but lively baroque steeple, its small secluded courtyard, stained glass, and a richly-decorated ceiling. It also has a set of six bells that are widely regarded as being the finest sounding six in London.

St Lawrence Jewry

The church was originally built in the twelfth century and dedicated to St Lawrence. The church is near the former medieval Jewish ghetto, which was centred on the street named Old Jewry. The church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London and rebuilt by Christopher Wren between 1670 and 1687. It suffered extensive damage during the blitz on December 29, 1940, but the bombing also destroyed buildings around the church affording passersby a wider view of it. It was restored in 1957 by Cecil Brown to Wren's original design. It is no longer a parish church but a guild church. It is the official church of the City of London Corporation.

St Mary Somerset

Church first recorded in the twelfth century. Destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, it was one of the 51 churches rebuilt by the office of Sir Christopher Wren. The tower is located in Upper Thames Street, the body of the church being demolished in 1871.

St Nicholas Cole Abbey

The church is named after the 4th century St Nicholas of Myra. “Cole Abbey” is derived from “coldharbour” a medieval word for a traveller’s shelter or shelter from the cold. The earliest reference to the church is in a letter of Pope Lucius II in 1144-5. The church was destroyed in the Great Fire. Charles II promised the site to the Lutheran community but lobbying prevented this from being granted and the parish was combined with that of St Nicholas Olave, a nearby church also destroyed but not rebuilt. The church was rebuilt between 1672 and 1678 at a cost of £5042. Included in the building accounts are the items: "‘Dinner for Dr Wren and other Company - £2 14s 0d’ and ‘Half a pint of canary for Dr Wren’s coachmen’ – 6d". It was the first church of the fifty-one lost in the Great Fire to be rebuilt. Smoke generated by underground trains so blackened the exterior that in the late 19th century, the church became known as “St. Nicholas Cole Hole Abbey”. In May 1881, church attendance under the Reverend H Stebbing was down to one man and one woman. On May 10 1941, London suffered its worst air raid during the entire War, with 1,436 people killed and several major buildings destroyed or severely damaged. Among them was St. Nicholas Cole Abbey. The church remained a shell until restored under Arthur Bailey and reconsecrated in 1962.

St Benet Paul's Wharf

The Church of St Benet Paul's Wharf is the Welsh church of the City of London. Since 1555, it has also been the church of the College of Arms, and many officers of arms are buried there. The current church was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. A Church has stood on this site since the year 1111, dedicated to St Benedict. Paul's Wharf was recently excavated to reveal its Roman foundations and was close by on the riverside. A little to the west stood the watergate of Baynard's Castle, frequently mentioned in church records, and part of the sad story of both Queen Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey. Both church and castle were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. The present church by Sir Christopher Wren was built by his master mason Thomas Strong between 1677 and 1683. It is a particularly valuable example of Wren's work, for it is one of only four churches in the city of London that escaped damage in during World War II, and remains basically as Wren built it. It resembles a Dutch country church and it is built of red and blue bricks with carved stone garlands over the windows. It also has a hipped roof on the north side. The Tower, built on the site of the original, contains the base of the old Tower to a height above ground of some twelve feet, but encased by new brick and stone. It is surmounted by a dome and cupola, topped by a ball and weathervane, and rises to a height of 115 feet to produce an elegant and attractive edifice. In 1652 Inigo Jones "the king's architect" was buried in St Benet, with his father and mother. A copy of the inscription on the original memorial, which perished in the Great Fire, has been placed above the site of the original vault.

St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe

First mentioned around 1170, St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe was almost certainly founded considerably earlier. During the 13th century the church was a part of Baynard's Castle, an ancient royal residence. In 1361, Edward III moved his Royal Wardrobe (a storehouse for Royal accoutrements, housing arms and clothing among other personal items of the Crown) from the Tower of London to just north of the church. It was from this association that the church acquired its unique name. The Wardrobe and the church, however, were both lost in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Of the 51 churches designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire, St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe is among the simplest of his designs; it was rebuilt in 1695. The church was again destroyed during the London blitz by German bombing; only the tower and walls survived. It was rebuilt and rededicated in 1961. St. Andrew's can boast of one of its former parishioners, William Shakespeare. Shakespeare was a member of this parish for about fifteen years while he was working at the Blackfriars Theatre nearby, and later he bought a house within the parish, in Ireland Yard. In his honour, a memorial was erected in the church.

St Martin, Ludgate

Some legends connect the church with legendary King Cadwallo. A sign on the front of the church reads "Cadwallo King of the Britons is said to have been buried here in 677". Modern historians would place his death about 682. Cadwallo's image was allegedly placed on Ludgate, to frighten away the Saxons. However the earliest written reference is from 1174. A Blackfriars monastery was built nearby in 1278. The church was rebuilt in 1437 and the tower was struck by lightning in 1561. The parish books start from 1410. Before the Reformation, the church was under the control of Westminster Abbey, and afterwards under St. Paul's Cathedral. The medieval church was repaired in 1623, only to be destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Rebuilding was not immediate, but was largely completed by 1680, finished in 1703. In 1669 a Roman tombstone, now in the Ashmolean Museum, was found.

St Paul's Cathedral

There had been a late-Roman episcopal see in London. According to the tradition recorded by Bede, the first Saxon cathedral was built by Mellitus in AD 604 in Lundenwic. Geoffrey of Monmouth claimed that the cathedral had been built on the site of a temple dedicated to the goddess Diana, in alignment with the Apollo Temple that he imagined once stood at Westminster, although Christopher Wren found no evidence of this. Geoffrey was disbelieved by contemporaries, and there is no evidence of any occupation at the Westminster site in the Roman period. Wherever its predecessor was sited, the successor building within the reoccupied City (built ca 886) was destroyed in a "most fatal fire" in 962, as mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Presumably it was made of timber. The third cathedral was begun in 962, perhaps in stone. In it was buried Ethelred the Unready. It burnt, with the whole city, in a fire in 1087, noted in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. The fourth St Paul's, known when architectural history arose in the 19th century as Old St Paul's, was begun by the Normans after the 1087 fire. Work took over 200 years, and a great deal was lost in a fire in 1136. The roof was once more built of wood, which was ultimately to doom the building. The church was consecrated in 1240, but a change of heart led to the commencement of an enlargement programme in 1256. When this 'New Work' was completed in 1314 — the cathedral had been consecrated in 1300 — it was the third-longest church in Europe. Excavations by Francis Penrose in 1878 showed it was 585 feet (178 m) long and 100 feet (30 m) wide (290 feet or 87 m across the transepts and crossing), and had one of Europe's tallest spires, at some 489 feet (149 m). By the 16th century the building was decaying. England's first classical architect, Inigo Jones, added the cathedral's west front in the 1630s, but there was much defacing mistreatment of the building by Parliamentarian forces during the Civil War, when the old documents and charters were dispersed and destroyed. "Old St Paul's" was gutted in the Great Fire of London of 1666. While it might have been salvageable, albeit with almost complete reconstruction, a decision was taken to build a new cathedral in a modern style instead. Indeed this had been contemplated even before the fire. The task of designing a replacement structure was officially assigned to Sir Christopher Wren in 1668, along with over fifty other City churches. St. Paul’s went through five general stages of design. Wren initially began surveying the property and drawing up designs before the Great Fire of 1666. The first stone of the cathedral was laid in 1677 by Thomas Strong, Wren's master stonemason. On Thursday, 2 December 1697, thirty-two years and three months after a spark from Farryner's bakery had caused the Great Fire of London, St Paul's Cathedral came into use.

St Anne and St Agnes

The first mention of a church on the present site is in documents of around 1150 which refer to 'St Agnes near Alderychgate' and the 'priest of St Anne's' which was situated near Aldredesgate'. There was confusion over the name since the church was described variously in Norman records as St Anne-in-the-Willows and as St Agnes. Its unusual double dedication, unique in the City, seems to have been acquired some time in the 15th century. The church was gutted by a fire in 1548 but was rebuilt soon after. Further work was done in 1624. However, the building's 14th century tower was its only section to survive the Great Fire of London in 1666. St Anne and St Agnes was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren in 1680, with possible contributions from Robert Hooke.

St Botolph's Aldersgate

The first church was built during the reign of Edward the Confessor and was a Cluniac priory with attached hospital for the poor. The buildings were located outside the city wall. In the 15th century, Henry V seized the property on the grounds that it was not English and granted it to the parish of St. Botolph, but it again became a religious foundation when one William Bever founded a brotherhood of the Holy Trinity there. Upon the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, the church, hospital and lands were granted to one of the king's heralds-at-arms, William Harvye or Somerset, in 1548. The present church was built 1788-91. Its churchyard was combined with those of St Leonard, Foster Lane and Christchurch Newgate Street into Postman's Park, and this now contains the 1900's Watts memorial to civilian Londoners who died heroic deaths.

St Giles-without-Cripplegate

There was a Saxon church on the site in the 11th century but by 1090 it had been replaced by a Norman one. In 1394 it was rebuilt in the perpendicular gothic style. The church has been badly damaged by fire on three occasions: In 1545, in 1897 and during the first major air raid of London Blitz of the Second World War on the night of August 24, 1940. German bombs completely gutted the church but it was restored using the plans of the reconstruction of 1545. The stone tower was added in 1682.

St Bartholomew-the-Great

The church possesses the most significant Norman interior in London, which once formed the chancel of a much larger monastic church. It was established in 1123 by Rahere, a prebendary of St Paul's Cathedral and later an Augustinian canon, who is said to have erected the church in gratitude after recovering from a fever. Rahere's supposedly miraculous recovery contributed to the church becoming known for its curative powers, with sick people filling its aisles each 24 August, St Bartholomew's Day. The church was originally part of a priory adjoining St Bartholomew's Hospital, but while the hospital survived the Dissolution about half of the priory church was demolished in 1543. The nave of the church was pulled down (up to the last bay) but the crossing and choir survive largely intact from the Norman and later periods and continued in use as the parish church. The entrance to the church from Smithfield now goes into the churchyard through a tiny surviving fragment of the west front, which is now surmounted by a half-timbered Tudor building. From there to the church door, a path leads along roughly where the south aisle of the nave was. Parts of the cloister also survive and may be seen from this path, but are not open to the public. Very little trace survives of the rest of the monastic buildings. The church escaped the Great Fire of London in 1666, but fell into disrepair, becoming occupied by squatters in the 18th century. It was restored and rebuilt by Aston Webb in the late 19th century. The church was one of relatively few City churches to escape damage during the Second World War.

St Bartholomew-the-Less

St Bartholomew-the-Less is the official church of St Bartholomew's Hospital and is located within the hospital grounds. The present church is the latest in a series of churches and chapels associated with the hospital over the past 800 years. Its earliest predecessor, known as the Chapel of the Holy Cross, was founded nearby in 1123 before moving to the present site in 1184. At the time of the Reformation it became the parish church of the hospital and was given its present name. Its suffix, "the less", was given to distinguish it from its much larger neighbour, St Bartholomew-the-Great. The church's tower and west end are 15th century, with two of its three bells dating from 1380 and 1420. They reside within an original medieval bell frame, believed to be the oldest in the City of London. The body of the church was completely rebuilt by Thomas Hardwick in 1825.

St Sepulchre-without-Newgate

The original Saxon church on the site was dedicated to St Edmund the King and Martyr. During the Crusades in the 12th century the church was renamed St Edmund and the Holy Sepulchre, in reference to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The name eventually became contracted to St Sepulchre. The church is today the largest parish church in the City. It was completely rebuilt in the 15th century but was gutted by the Great Fire of London in 1666, which left only the outer walls, the tower and the porch standing. Modified in the 18th century, the church underwent extensive restoration in 1878. It narrowly avoided destruction in the Second World War, although the 18th-century watch-house in its churchyard (erected to deter grave-robbers) was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt. St Sepulchre is one of the "Cockney bells" of London, named in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons as the "bells of Old Bailey". Traditionally, the great bell would be rung to mark the execution of a prisoner at the nearby gallows at Newgate. The clerk of St Sepulchre's was also responsible for ringing a handbell outside the condemned man's cell in Newgate Prison to inform him of his impending execution. This handbell, known as the Execution Bell, now resides in a glass case to the south of the nave.

St Bride's Church

The building's most recent incarnation was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1672 on Fleet Street in the City of London. Due to its location on Fleet Street it has a long association with journalists and newspapers. The church is a distinctive sight on London's skyline and is clearly visible from a number of locations. Standing 69 meters high, it is the 2nd tallest of all Wren's churches, with only St Paul's itself having a higher pinnacle. The tiered spire is said to have been the inspiration for the design of modern tiered wedding cakes. The present St Bride's is at least the seventh church to have stood on the site. Traditionally it was founded by St Bridget in the sixth century. Whether or not she founded it personally, the remnants of the first church appear to have significant similarities to a church of the same date in Kildare, Ireland. The Norman church, built in the 11th century, was of both religious and secular significance; in 1210 King John held a parliament there. It was replaced by a larger church in the 15th century, but this burned down in the Great Fire of London in 1666. It was replaced by Wren with one of his largest and most expensive works, taking seven years to build. The famous spire was added later, in 1701-1703. It originally measured 234 ft but lost its upper eight feet to a lightning strike in 1764.

St Dunstan-in-the-West

First founded between 988 and 1070 A.D., there is a possibility that a church on this site was one of the Lundenwic strand settlement churches, like St Martin's in the Fields, the first St Mary le Strand, St Clement Danes and St Brides. These may well pre-date any of the churches within the City walled area. It is not known exactly when the original church was built, but it was possibly erected by Saint Dunstan himself, or priests who knew him well. It was first mentioned in written records in 1185. King Henry III gained possession of it and its endowments from Westminster Abbey by 1237 and then granted these and the advowson to the 'House of Converts' i.e. of the converted Jews, which led to its neglect of its parochial responsibilities. This institution was eventually transformed into the court of the Master of the Rolls. Samuel Pepys mentions the church in his diary. The church narrowly escaped the Great Fire of London in 1666. The Dean of Westminster roused forty scholars from Westminster School in the middle of the night, who formed a fire brigade which extinguished the flames with buckets of water only three doors away. However, Pepys only knew the old medieval building, which was taken down in the early 19th century. The present building was built on its predecessor's churchyard to allow the widening of Fleet Street. A fragment of the old churchyard remains near Bream's Buildings. The new building was designed by John Shaw the Elder (1776–1832) who died before the church was completed so it was left in the hands of his son John Shaw the Younger (1803–1870) in 1833.

Temple Church

In the mid 12th century, before the construction of the church, the Knights Templar in London had met at a site in High Holborn in a structure originally established by Hughes de Payens (the site had been historically the location of a Roman temple in Londinium). Because of the rapid growth of the order, by the 1160s the site had become too confined, and the Order purchased the current site for the establishment of a larger monastic complex as their headquarters in England. In addition to the church, the new compound originally contained residences, military training facilities, and recreational grounds for the military brethren and novices, who were not permitted to go into the city without the permission of the Master of the Temple. The church building comprises two separate sections. The original nave section, called the Round Church, and an adjoining rectangular section, built approximately half a century later, called the Chancel. In keeping with the traditions of the order, the nave of the church was constructed on a round design based on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It was consecrated on February 10, 1185 in a ceremony by Heraclius, Patriarch of Jerusalem. It is believed that Henry II was present at the consecration. The church was undamaged by the Great Fire of London in 1666. Nevertheless, it was refurbished by Christopher Wren, who made extensive modifications to the interior, including an altar screen and the introduction of an organ to the church for the first time. The church was restored again in 1841 by Smirke and Burton, who decorated the walls and ceiling in the high Victorian Gothic style, in an attempt to bring the church back to its original appearance. Further restoration work was executed by James Piers St Aubyn in 1862. On May 10, 1941, a German air raid of incendiary bombs set the roof of the Round Church on fire, and the fire quickly spread to the nave and chapel. The organ and all the wood parts of the church, including the Victorian renovations, were destroyed and the dark Purbeck marble columns of the Chancel cracked from the intense heat. Although these columns still supported the vault, they were deemed unsound and replaced by replicas. The original columns had a light outward lean, an architectural quirk which was duplicated in the replacement columns. During the renovation by the architect Walter Godfrey, it was discovered that the renovations made by Wren in the 17th century were in storage and they were replaced in their original position. The church was rededicated in November 1958.


958 Posts
I sorted out all these churches back in 1960/1 when I was still at school. Many were closed or still in ruins because of WWII. I have a few guide books to this day that I picked up for a few old pence inside the churches. Most interesting thread.

730 Posts
Wow!!! These are FANTASTIC pictures!

As someone who is obsessed with London, these pictures are like porn to me.

Thank you El Greco for giving me yet another orgasmic experience. :tongue3:

London clearly is the best city in the world.

Bike It!
22,199 Posts
Original subject and well presented. I didn't know that London has got so many beautifull old churches.
Thanks for posting! :eek:kay:

730 Posts
Original subject and well presented. I didn't know that London has got so many beautifull old churches.
Thanks for posting! :eek:kay:
And these churches are only within the "City of London" -- a tiny area located in the center of London itself (the area in red below).

There are lots more churches outside the 'City' (note the capital 'C') such as Westminster Abbey and St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

730 Posts
these churches in London are fine but not extraordinarily designed.
A lot of these churches were built in the 12th century. The fact that they survived the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz, is extraordinary.
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