The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from:


Situated on Bishopsgate, this church survived the Great Fire of 1666 and still stands today. This site has a page with details of the church’s bells (all dating from the 18th century) and some old pictures.


This text was copied from Wikipedia on 14 May 2017 at 3:22AM.

St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate
St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate 1.JPG
Exterior photo of St. Botolph-without-Bishopsgate
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England and Antiochian Orthodox Church
Heritage designation Grade II*
Diocese London
Rector Alan McCormack

St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate is a Church of England church on the west side of Bishopsgate in the City of London, first mentioned in 1212.[1] It survived the Great Fire of London in 1666, and was rebuilt in 1724–29.


The church is on the west side of Bishopsgate near Liverpool Street station. In the Middle Ages the site was just outside the city walls near the "Bishop's Gate" after which the street is named.[2] St Botolph was a patron saint of travellers, so it was an appropriate dedication for a church near a city gate. There were three other churches of St Botolph in medieval London, at Billingsgate, Aldgate and Aldersgate.[3]

Adjoining the buildings is a substantial churchyard – running along the back of Wormwood Street, the former course of London Wall – and a former school.[4] The church is linked with the Worshipful Company of Coopers and the Worshipful Company of Bowyers.

Middle ages

Christian worship on this site may have Roman origins, though this is not fully proven.[5] Stow, writing in 1598 only describes the church of his time as standing "in a fair churchyard, adjoining to the town ditch, upon the very bank thereof".[3] It narrowly escaped the Great Fire, the sexton's house having been partly demolished to stop the spread of the flames.[6] Writing in 1708, Hatton described it as "an old church built of brick and stone, and rendered over". By this time the Gothic church had been altered with the addition of Tuscan columns supporting the roof, and Ionic ones the galleries.[3]

Present church

The font, in which John Keats was baptised

In 1710, the parishioners petitioned parliament for permission to rebuild the church on another site, but nothing was done. In 1723 the church was found to be irreparable [6] and the parishioners petitioned again. Having obtained an act of Parliament, they set up a temporary building in the churchyard, and began to rebuild the church. The first stone was laid in 1725, and the new building was consecrated in 1728, though not completed until the next year. The designer was James Gold.[2] or Gould.[7] During construction, the foundations of the original Anglo-Saxon church were discovered.

To provide a striking frontage towards Bishopsgate, the architect placed the tower at the east end, its ground floor, with a pediment on the exterior, forming the chancel. The east end and tower are faced with stone, while the rest of the church is brick, with stone dressings.[2]

The interior is divided into nave and aisles by Composite columns, the nave being barrel vaulted. The church was soon found to be too dark, so a large west window was created, but this was largely obscured by the organ[2] installed in front of it in 1764.[6] In 1820 a lantern was added to the centre of the roof.[2]

The church was designated a Grade II* listed building on 4 January 1950.[8]

By permission of the Rector, The Orthodox Parish of Saint Botolph in London[9] worships there, part of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of the British Isles and Ireland.[10]

Baptisms, marriages and burials

The infant son of the playwright Ben Jonson is buried in the churchyard, and baptisms in this church include Edward Alleyn in 1566 and John Keats (in the present font) in 1795.[11] Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, was baptised there in 1797.[12]

At one point the satirist and essayist Stephen Gosson was rector.

The woman claimed by A L Rowse to be Shakespeare's "Dark Lady", Emilia Lanier, was baptised Emilia Bassano at the church on 27 January 1569. She married Alfonso Lanier there on 18 October 1592.[13]

Church hall

Within the churchyard, the church hall is the Grade II, former Hall of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers. It is a single storied classical red brick and Portland stone building, with niches containing painted figures of charity children.[14]

Church surroundings

Also within the area of the church is a Turkish bath designed by the architect, Harold Elphick, and opened by City of London Alderman Treloar on 5 February 1895 for Henry and James Forder Nevill who owned other Turkish baths [15] in Victorian London.



  1. ^ Hibbert, C; Weinreb, D; Keay, J (1983). The London Encyclopaedia. London: Pan Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5. (rev 1993, 2008) 
  2. ^ a b c d e Godwin, George; John Britton (1839). "St Botolph's, Bishopsgate". The Churches of London: A History and Description of the Ecclesiastical Edifices of the Metropolis. London: C. Tilt. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Pearce, C.W. (1909). Notes on Old City Churches: their organs, organists and musical associations. London: Winthrop Rogers. 
  4. ^ Betjeman, John (1967). The City of London Churches. Andover: Pitkin. ISBN 0-85372-565-9. (rpnt 1992) 
  5. ^ "History of the Building". Parish and Ward Church St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Malcolm, James Peller (1803). Londinium Redivivium, or, an Ancient History and Modern Description of London. 1. London. p. 334. 
  7. ^ Bradley, Simon; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1998). London:the City Churches. The Buildings of England. London: Penguin Books. p. 38. ISBN 0 14 071100 7. 
  8. ^ Historic England. "Details from image database (199309)". Images of England. Retrieved 24 January 2009. 
  9. ^ "St. Botolphs Antiochian Orthodox Church". Retrieved 2017-04-14. 
  10. ^ "Homepage - Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles & Ireland". Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of the British Isles & Ireland. Retrieved 2017-04-14. 
  11. ^ Tucker, T (2006). The Visitors Guide to the City of London Churches. London: Friends of the City Churches. ISBN 0-9553945-0-3. 
  12. ^ Gordon, Lyndall (2006). Vindication : a life of Mary Wollstonecraft (1st Harper Perennial ed. ed.). New York: Harper Perennial. p. 7. ISBN 0060957743.  |access-date= requires |url= (help)CS1 maint: Extra text (link)
  13. ^ Page on Emilia Bassano by Peter Bassano, her "first cousin, twelve times removed" Accessed 7 April 2016
  14. ^ Historic England. "Details from image database (199320)". Images of England. Retrieved 24 January 2009. 
  15. ^ Turkish baths in Victorian London

External links

Coordinates: 51°31′0.15″N 0°4′53.96″W / 51.5167083°N 0.0816556°W / 51.5167083; -0.0816556

1 Annotation

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Rebuilt 1725-8, to a design by James Gould.

Buildings of England, London 1: The City, pp. 208-10.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


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