St Lawrence Jewry

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St Lawrence Jewry
St Lawrence Jewry from the south-east
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
History
Dedication St Lawrence
Architecture
Architect(s) Christopher Wren
Style Baroque
Administration
Diocese City of London
Interior of St Lawrence Jewry

St Lawrence Jewry next Guildhall is a Church of England guild church in the City of London on Gresham Street, next to the Guildhall. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666, and rebuilt to the designs of Sir Christopher Wren.

History[edit]

Medieval era[edit]

The church was originally built in the twelfth century and dedicated to St Lawrence; the weather vane of the present church is in the form of his instrument of martyrdom, the gridiron.[1] The church is near the former medieval Jewish ghetto,[2] which was centred on the street named Old Jewry.[3]

Sir Thomas More preached in the older church on this site.[4]

17th century[edit]

In 1618 the church was repaired, and all the windows filled with stained glass paid for by individual donors.[5]

The medieval church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London and rebuilt by Christopher Wren between 1670 and 1687.[6] The parish was united with that of St. Mary Magdalen, Milk Street, which was not rebuilt.[5] The church is entirely faced in stone, with a grand east front, on which four attached Corinthian columns, raised on a basement, support a pediment placed against a high attic.[6]George Godwin, writing in 1839, described the details of this facade as displaying " a purity of feeling almost Grecian", while pointing out that Wren's pediment acts only as a superficial adornment to the wall, rather than, as in Classical architecture, forming an extension of the roof.[5]

Inside, Wren's church has an aisle on the north side only, divided from the nave by Corinthian columns, carrying an entablature that continues around the walls of the main body of the church, where it is supported on pilasters. The ceiling is divided into sunken panels, ornamented with wreaths and branches.[5] The church is 81 feet long and 68 feet wide.[7]

Interior, looking east toward the organ at the rear of the church

20th century[edit]

The church suffered extensive damage during the Blitz on 29 December 1940,[8] and was restored in 1957 by Cecil Brown to Wren's original design. It is no longer a parish church but a guild church, and the official church of the City of London Corporation.

The church was described by Sir John Betjeman as "very municipal, very splendid."[9] It was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950.[10]

The church was the burial place of John Tillotson, archbishop of Canterbury;[11] and of merchant Francis Levett, as well as the site of the wedding of his niece Ann Levett, daughter of William Levett, Dean of Bristol and former Principal of Magdalen Hall, Oxford .[12]

Vicars (incomplete list)[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bradley, Simon & Pevsner, Nikolaus. "London: the City Churches". New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002 ISBN 0-300-09655-0
  2. ^ Hibbert, C; Weinreb, D.; Keay, J. "The London Encyclopaedia". London: Pan Macmillan, 1983 (rev 1993, 2008) ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5
  3. ^ Tucker, T. "The Visitors Guide to the City of London Churches". London: Friends of the City Churches, 2006 ISBN 0-9553945-0-3
  4. ^ "St Lawrence Jewry". London Taxi Tour. Retrieved 2009-04-11. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d Godwin, George; John Britton (1839). The Churches of London: A History and Description of the Ecclesiastical Edifices of the Metropolis. London: C. Tilt. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Bradley, Simon; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1998). London: the City Churches. The Buildings of England. London: Penguin Books. pp. 995–6. ISBN 0-14-071100-7. 
  7. ^ Elmes, James (1831). A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Environs. London: Whittaker, Treacher and Arnot. p. 303. Retrieved 24 September 2011. 
  8. ^ Cobb, G. "The Old Churches of London". London: Batsford, 1942
  9. ^ Betjeman, J. "The City of London Churches". Andover: Pikin, 1967 ISBN 0-85372-112-2
  10. ^ English Heritage. "Details from listed building database (199500)". Images of England. Retrieved 23 January 2009. 
  11. ^ Elmes, James (1831). A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Environs. London: Whittaker, Treacher and Arnot. p. 263. 
  12. ^ Publications of the Harleian Society, Vol. XXVI, London, 1887
  13. ^ "Palmer, Stephen (PLMR555W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  14. ^ "Parkens, Samuel (PRKS567S)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  15. ^ "Vines, Richard (VNS619R)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  16. ^ "Ward, Seth (WRT632S)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  17. ^ "Wilkins, John (WLKS639J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  18. ^ "Whichcote, Benjamin (WHCT626B)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  19. ^ "Mapletoft, John (MPLT648J)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  20. ^ "Barrass, James Stephen (BRS884JS)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  21. ^ http://constructorscompany.org.uk/index.php?page=canon-david-parrot

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′55″N 0°05′33″W / 51.5152°N 0.0925°W / 51.5152; -0.0925