St Bartholomew-the-Less

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from St Bartholomew the Less)
Jump to: navigation, search
St Bartholomew the Less
Exterior of St Bartholomew the Less
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
Parish St Bartholomew the Less
Diocese Diocese of London
Vicar(s) Dr Martin Dudley CC FSA
(Rector of Great St Barts)

St Bartholomew-the-Less is an Anglican church in the City of London. It is the official church of St Bartholomew's Hospital[1] 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.[2] Along with most other religious foundations the hospital was dissolved by Henry VIII. It was then re-founded by the king, and the chapel became a parish church for those living within its precincts.[3] Its suffix, "the less", was given to distinguish it from its senior 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 hang within an original medieval bell frame, believed to be the oldest in the City of London. In 1793 George Dance the Younger created a new octagonal interior within the shell of the medieval church,[4] its clerestorey rising above the old walls. The new construction was made entirely of wood, and soon became affected by dry-rot. In 1823 it was replaced under the supervision of Thomas Hardwick, who replicated the timber construction in stone with an iron ceiling. He also made alterations to the detailing.[3]

The church suffered some bomb damage during the London Blitz of World War II but this was repaired and the church reopened by 1951.

St Bartholomew's interior is small but light and airy, chiefly due to Dance's use of high lunette windows. Its form is that of an octagonal Gothic vault fitted into a square by the means of adding open triangular chapels in the corners.[5]

The church was designated a Grade II* listed building on 4 January 1950,[6] and enjoys an association with the neighbouring Haberdashers' Company.

Notable people associated with the church[edit]

Interior of St Bartholomew the Less

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Betjeman, John (1967) The City of London Churches Andover: Pitkin ISBN 0-85372-112-2
  2. ^ Hibbert, C; Weinreb, D. & Keay, J. (1983) The London Encyclopaedia. London: Pan Macmillan, 1983 (rev 1993, 2008) ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5
  3. ^ a b Godwin, George; John Britton (1839). The Churches of London: A History and Description of the Ecclesiastical Edifices of the Metropolis. London: C. Tilt. 
  4. ^ Bradley, Simon & Pevsner, Nikolaus (1998) London: the City Churches. London: Penguin Books (reissued by Yale University Press, New Haven, 2002 ISBN 0-300-09655-0)
  5. ^ Cobb, Gerald (1942) The Old Churches of London. London: Batsford
  6. ^ English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (199825)". Images of England.  accessed 24 January 2009

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′4.52″N 0°6′2.36″W / 51.5179222°N 0.1006556°W / 51.5179222; -0.1006556