The remains of St Olave Old Jewry are
located on St Olave's Place, between Old Jewry and Ironmonger
Lane, next to the former site of St Martin Pomary. Old Jewry was a
small but densely populated area of medieval London that was
populated largely by Jews until they were expelled
by Edward I in 1290. The church was built by Saxons between the
ninth and eleventh centuries in a mixture of Kentish ragstone
and Roman bricks taken from still-surviving ruins.
Also termed St Olave Upwell for the well under
the east end of the building, the earliest surviving mention of
the church is from a manuscript of about 1130, by which time it
had been rededicated to the eleventh century patron saint of Norway,
St Olaf (as was St Olaf's in Tallinn). It was destroyed in the Great Fire
of 1666, rebuilt by Wren by 1679 and restored in 1879. Only the west
wing and tower escaped demolition in 1887, to be adjoined to a new
The Guild Church of St Lawrence Jewry is
on Gresham Street, immediately north of St Olave's, and is now the
church of the Corporation of London, with the Guildhall lying
immediately behind it (to the left here). Its name comes from
the fact that the original church, which was built in 1136,
stood in at the northern end of the city's large Jewish community
which was centred on Old Jewry street. That Norman church building
was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666.
The building that was constructed over the ruins
of the church was designed by Christopher Wren and opened in 1680,
although work was not completed until 1687. This building was almost
completely destroyed by fire on 29 December 1940, following heavy
German bombing of the City. A sympathetic restoration was carried
out in 1957, although some of the other buildings which had been
clustered around it were not restored, giving it the open aspect
it has today.
The Parish Church of St Stephen Coleman Street
lay on the corner of Coleman Street (named after local charcoal
burners) and Gresham Street, a short distance to the east of St
Lawrence Jewry and within the medieval Jewish quarter. It was first
mentioned in the thirteenth century, and was a Puritan stronghold in
the 1600s. It was destroyed by the Great Fire and rebuilt by Wren's
office. Enemy bombing in the Blitz of 1940 destroyed the church
again, and it was not rebuilt.
The Parish Church of St Margaret Lothbury
is the church of the wards of Broad Street and Coleman Street, located
just over a hundred metres (yards) east of the former St Stephen's. A
Norman church was built here, on Lothbury Street (now behind the Bank
of England), in the twelfth century, and is first recorded in 1185.
It underwent rebuilding work in 1440, largely paid for by the lord
mayor of London, Robert Large, who had William Caxton (c.1422-1492)
as an apprentice.
The church was destroyed by the Great Fire and
rebuilt by the office of Christopher Wren between 1686-1690. Two
paintings of Moses and Aaron were transferred here from St
Christopher le Stocks when demolished in 1781 and these now flank
the high altar. St Margaret's still serves as a parish church for
five livery companies, two ward clubs, and two professional
institutes in the City, and holds special services for local finance
houses. It is also Grade I listed.
The site of St Peter le Poer was alongside
the entrance to Austin Friars on the western side of Old Broad
Street where it meets Throgmorton Street. The Norman church existed
by 1181, and was renovated between 1629-1631. It was lucky enough to
escape the Great Fire but, much decayed, it was dismantled and
rebuilt further back by Jesse Gibson in 1792. A new Henry Willis
organ was fitted in 1884 but the population decline in the City
meant that it was closed in 1908.
The Dutch Church in London ('Nederlandse Kerk'
in Dutch) lies along the narrow maze of Austin Friars. Long used as
a meeting place for Dutch visitors and residents of the City, it
welcomes worshippers of any religious denomination. It was originally
founded as the priory church of the Augustine Friars, probably in the
1200s. In 1550, Edward IV gave permission to Protestant refugees from
the Catholic-controlled Netherlands to set up their own parish here.
This donation made it the first Dutch-language
Protestant church in the world, before the Netherlands was liberated,
and the western end of the Priory Church was enclosed from the Steeple
and Quier to facilitate the change. It was partly burnt in 1862, and
restored by 1865. The Blitz in 1940 saw the church destroyed, but in
1950 a design by Arthur Bailey had been turned into a new church
building which had echoes of Wren's designs, in Portland stone over
a concrete frame.