Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Brief information from about 60 years later, in 1722:
The old parish church of St. James the Less, Clerkenwell, was pulled down in 1788, and the first stone of the present church was laid on December 16th of that year. The church was completed in 1792. ---Wheatley, 1899.
St. James's Clerkenwell, situated on the north side of Clerkenwell Green, is a part of the church of the ancient priory; and is thus denominated from its dedication to St. James the Minor, Bishop of Jerusalem. This priory was founded so early as the year 1100, and the church belonging to it not only served the nuns but the neighbouring inhabitants. The priory was dissolved by King Henry VIII. in the year 1539, and the church was immediately made parochial. The steeple of this edifice being greatly decayed by age, a, part of it fell down in the year 1623, upon which the parish contracted with a person to rebuild it; but the builder being desirous of getting as much as possible by the job, raised the new work upon the old foundation, and carried it on with the utmost expedition; but before it was entirely, finished, it fell down, and destroyed part of the church, which were both soon after rebuilt, as they are at present.This church is a very heavy, structure, partly Gothic, which was the original form, and partly Tuscan. The body, though it has not the least appearance of elegance, is well enlightened, and the steeple consists of a low heavy tower crowned with a turret.The church is a curacy in the gift of the parishioners. ---London and Its Environs Described. R. Dodsley, 1761.
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