St Michael, Crooked Lane
|St. Michael, Crooked Lane|
|Location||Miles' Lane, London|
|Denomination||Church of England|
St Michael, Crooked Lane was an ancient parish church situated on the east side of Miles's Lane in Candlewick Ward in the City of London. It was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London by Sir Christopher Wren, and demolished in 1831.
The church was in existence by 1304. It was an originally a small church, standing amongst the slaughter-yards of the butchers of Eastcheap. In 1336, it was rebuilt on a much larger scale by John Lovekeyn, four-times Lord Mayor of London; later it received further benefactions from Sir William Walworth, who was Lord Mayor in 1374. The patronage of the church belonged first to the prior and convent of Christ Church, Canterbury until 1408, and later to the Archbishop of Canterbury, becoming one of 13 peculiarities in the City of London belonging to him.
After its destruction in the Great Fire of London, the church was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren in 1687. The interior of the new church was 78 feet long, 46 feet wide and 32 feet high, with round-headed windows. James Peller Malcolm called Wren’s church "so plain as to be indescribable", noting only the Corinthian reredos, "the usual tablets" and the lack of an organ. There was a Portland stone tower, about 100 feet high, topped with a perforated parapet, with vases at its angles, and a spire—described by James Elmes as "remarkably picturesque"—with clock, weather-vane and cross.
The church was demolished in 1831 to make way for the wider approaches needed for the rebuilt London Bridge. Its parish was united with that of St Magnus the Martyr. A stained-glass window in the church of St Magnus commemorates the former parish.
Washington Irving gave a long description of the church in his famed work The Sketch Book (published originally in 1863, republished by Avenal Books/Crown Publishers in 1985), in the chapter entitled "The Boar's Head Tavern, Eastcheap". In searching for any remnants of Shakespeare's Falstaff, Irving hears about a picture of the original tavern in St. Michael's church, but to no avail. Still, as always with author Irving, the trip is an entertaining and amusing one.
- List of Christopher Wren churches in London
- List of churches rebuilt after the Great Fire but since demolished
- Elmes, James (1831). A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Environs. London: Whittaker, Treacher and Arnot. p. 303. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- Candlewick Ward History
- Malcolm, James Peller (1807). Londinium Redivivium, or, an Ancient History and Modern Description of London. 4. London. pp. 506–8.
- Samuel Pepys's Diary: April 30, 1665 (Dover, Lewis Publications 1992) ISBN 978-0-486-43667-8
- "The London Encyclopaedia" Hibbert, C; Weinreb, D; Keay,J: London, Pan Macmillan, 1983 (rev 1993,2008) ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5
- The Church Of St. Michael, Crooked Lane Correspondent not cited The Times, Thursday, Apr 07, 1831; pg. 3; Issue 14507; col F