St Botolph's Aldgate
|St Botolph's Without-Aldgate and Holy Trinity Minories|
|Architectural style||Georgian architecture|
|Town or city||London|
|Construction started||1115, 16th Century, and 1741|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||George Dance the Elder|
|St. Botolph's Aldgate|
|Denomination||Anglican, earlier Roman Catholic|
|Parish||St Botolph without Aldgate|
|Bishop(s)||Bishop of London|
|Rector||The Revd Laura Burgess|
|Curate(s)||The Revd Richenda Leigh, the Revd Mark Speeks|
St Botolph's Church, Aldgate, St Botolph-without-Aldgate, or just Aldgate Church, is a Church of England liberal and inclusive parish church in the City of London, standing at the junction of Houndsditch and Aldgate High Street. The current 18th-century church is made of brick with stone quoins and window casings. The tower is square with an obelisk spire.
The parish was united with that of Holy Trinity, Minories, in 1899.
The first written record of this church appears in 1115  when it was received by the Holy Trinity Priory (recently founded by [[Matilda , Henry I's queen]) but the parochial foundations may very well be pre-1066.
The interior "was redecorated by John Francis Bentley, the architect of Westminster Cathedral, was severely bombed at intervals during the London Blitz of the Second World War and then, after its restoration by Rodney Tatchell, was much damaged by an inexplicable outbreak of fire in 1965, so that further restoration had to be carried out. St Botolph's was rehallowed on November 8, 1966 by the Bishop of London, in the presence of the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Sir Robert Bellinger, the Lord Mayor of London, who attended in state."
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 offering easy access to the other four murder sites of 1888. It was often referred to as the "Church of Prostitutes" in the late Victorian period. The church is sited on an island surrounded by roadways and it was usual in these times to be suspicious of women standing on street corners. They were easy targets for the police, and to escape apprehension the prostitutes would parade around the island, now occupied by the church and Aldgate tube station.
The organ by Renatus Harris was built in the early 18th century. It has recently undergone a historical restoration by the organ builders Goetze and Gwynn. It has been restored to its 1744 specification using many of the original components. This organ has been described as the oldest church organ in the United Kingdom. Although there are older pipes and cases, this is the oldest collection of pipes in their original positions on their original wind chests. Because of its historic importance the organ was filmed and recorded for the documentary The Elusive English Organ.
Donated by Thomas Whiting in 1676 it was built between 1702 to 1704. It was enhanced for the new church (the current building) by Harris' son-in-law, John Byfield, in 1740. The organ was considerably enlarged several times in the 19th century and again rebuilt by Mander Organs in the 1960s having survived a World War II bomb, which lodged in the roof of the church but failed to explode. The decision to restore the instrument was taken by St Botolph’s in 2002 after which a fundraising campaign was launched. The restoration, undergone under the consultancy of Ian Bell took nine months during which time the organ has been at the workshops of Goetze and Gwynn in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire. It was reinstalled in May 2006.
- Daniel Defoe was married in the church in 1683
- Thomas Bray, founder of SPCK was rector from 1706 to 1730
- "The Old Churches of London" Cobb,G: London, Batsford, 1942
- Saunders, Ann (1984). The Art and Architecture of London: An Illustrated Guide. Oxford: Phaidon. p. 80.
- "The London Encyclopaedia" Hibbert,C;Weinreb,D;Keay,J: London, Pan Macmillan, 1983 (rev 1993,2008) ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5
- "The City of London Churches" Betjeman,J Andover, Pikin, 1967 ISBN 0-85372-112-2
- "London:the City Churches” Pevsner,N/Bradley,S : New Haven, Yale, 1998 ISBN 0-300-09655-0
- "The Visitors Guide to the City of London Churches" Tucker,T: London, Friends of the City Churches, 2006 ISBN 0-9553945-0-3
- Details from listed building database (199278) . Images of England. English Heritage. accessed 23 January 2009
- "Notes on Old City Churches: their organs, organists and musical associations" Pearce,C.W. London, Winthrop Rogers Ltd 1909
- http://www.organfocus.com/features/events/stbotolphs.doc Organ restoration press release
- http://www.goetzegwynn.co.uk/restored/aldgate.shtml Restorers website
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