St Leonard, Foster Lane

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St Leonard, Foster Lane
Ruins of St. Leonard's
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Roman Catholic, Anglican

St Leonard, Foster Lane, was a Church of England church dedicated to Leonard of Noblac on the west side of Foster Lane in the Aldersgate ward of the City of London.[1][2] It was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and not rebuilt.


This church originally belonged to the College of St Martin-le-Grand.[3] It was founded in the 13th century by the dean and canons of St. Martin's,[4] to serve the inhabitants of the precinct, who had previously worshipped at the altar of St Leonard in the collegiate church.[1] The building, which was small, stood in the courtyard of the collegiate church, on the west side of Foster Lane.[3]

There is a record of a new window being installed in the chancel in 1533.[3] In 1579, the existing graveyard, being too small was leased out, and a new one laid out on an area of the precinct previously known as the "Dean's Garden" leased by the churchwarden and parishioners for a term of 61 years.[1] The building was repaired and enlarged in 1631,[3] at a cost of more than £500.[1]

The poet Francis Quarles, who died 1644, was buried there.[5]


Site of StL,FL today

St Leonard's was largely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and not rebuilt.[6] the parish instead being united to that of Christ Church, Newgate Street, and the site used as a graveyard.[1] Some ruins of the church remained, however, until the early 19th century, when they were finally cleared [7] to make way for the new buildings of the General Post Office.[3]

Despite the destruction of the church, the "Parish Dole"[8] was still available as late as 1907.[9]

Its former burial ground now forms part of Postman's Park.


  1. ^ a b c d e Newcourt, Richard (1708). Repetorium Ecclesiasticum Parochiale Londinense. 1. London. pp. 293–4. 
  2. ^ "Vanished Churches in the City of London" Huelin,G: London,Guildhall Library Publications,1996 ISBN 0-900422-42-4
  3. ^ a b c d e White, J.G. (1901). The Churches and Chapels of Old London. London. pp. 90–3. 
  4. ^ Jenkinson, Wilberforce (1917). London Churches Before the Great Fire. London: Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge. 
  5. ^ Wheatley, Henry Benjamin. London Past and Present. Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press. p. 386. ISBN 9781108028073. 
  6. ^ The "Churches of the City of London" Reynolds,H: London, Bodley Head, 1922
  7. ^ Betjeman, John (1967). The City of London Churches. Andover: Pitkin. ISBN 0-85372-112-2. 
  8. ^ History of term
  9. ^ Pearce, Charles William (1909). Notes on old London city churches : their organs, organists, and musical associations. London: Vincent Music Company. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′55″N 0°05′48″W / 51.5152°N 0.0966°W / 51.5152; -0.0966