St Michael Wood Street

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St. Michael Wood Street
Michael woodstreet godwin.jpg
CountryUnited Kingdom
DenominationChurch of England
Architect(s)Christopher Wren

St Michael’s Wood Street was a church and parish of medieval origin in Cripplegate Ward in the City of London, and is first mentioned in 1225 as St. Michael de Wudestrate.[1] It stood on the west side of Wood Street, initially with a frontage on Huggin Lane but later on Wood Street itself.

After King James IV of Scotland was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, his head was brought to London and hastily buried in this church.[2][3] John Stow admired the building, and called it a "proper thing".[4]

The church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London,[5] and after some pressure[6] it was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren in 1673.[7] The organ was built by Thomas Elliot in 1800: the most noted organist was Dr Henry Hiles.[8]

In 1854 the declining residential population led to proposals to reduce the number of churches within the "Square Mile"[9] - a procedure the church's vicar had himself proposed.[10] The church was eventually demolished under the auspices of the Union of Benefices Act[11] in 1897,[12] and many bodies were disinterred from the churchyard and reburied at Brookwood Cemetery.[13]

The parish was then united with St Alban Wood Street,[14] and, after the destruction of that church in World War II, with St Vedast Foster Lane.[15]

The site has undergone several redevelopments: as of 2013, is occupied by a pub called The Red Herring.[2]


  • 'Church of England, Parish of St. Michael Wood Street. - Assessment of the annual tithes of the joint parishes of St. Michael Wood St, 1671'. - M0014588CL cited in City of London Parish Registers Guide 4

Ministers of the church[edit]

  • John Ive, fl 1399 [16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ H.A. Harben, A Dictionary of London (Herbert Jenkins, London 1922)
  2. ^ a b Dr. Tony Pollard (8 September 2013). "The sad tale of James IV's body". BBC News Scotland. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  3. ^ G. Huelin, Vanished Churches of the City of London (Guildhall Library Publishing, London) 1996ISBN 0900422424
  4. ^ W. Thoms (ed.), John Stow's A Survey of London (A Whittaker & Co, London 1842) (original 1598).
  5. ^ Reynolds, 1922
  6. ^ A. Hallows (ed.), (London, Guildhall Library Research, 1974) ISBN 0-900422-30-0
  7. ^ M. Whinney, Wren (Thames & Hudson, London 1971) ISBN 0-500-20112-9
  8. ^ C.W. Pearce, Notes on Old City Churches: their organs, organists and musical associations (Winthrop Rogers Ltd, London 1909)
  9. ^ 'Proposed Removal Of Thirty City Churches', The Times, Wednesday 4 January 1854 (Issue 21629), p. 5, column F.
  10. ^ C. Hume, Proposal for supplying the Suburbs of London with some of the Churches not required in the City (London, 1853)
  11. ^ C. Hibbert, D. Weinreb and J. Keay, The London Encyclopaedia (Pan Macmillan, London, 1983) (revised 1993, 2008) ISBN 978-1-4050-4924-5
  12. ^ G. Cobb, The Old Churches of London (London, Batsford, 1942).
  13. ^ J.M. Clarke, The Brookwood Necropolis Railway (Oasdale, Usk, 2006) ISBN 978-0-85361-655-9
  14. ^ P. Norman, On the destroyed church of St. Michael Wood street in the City of London (The Society, London 1902)
  15. ^ J. Betjeman, The City of London Churches (Andover, Pitkin, 1972) ISBN 0-85372-112-2
  16. ^ Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas: The National Archives (UK) CP 40/555, Year 1399 (first term of Henry IV), 4th entry, county margination "london": John Ive, parson, as plaintiff

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′56″N 0°5′41.5″W / 51.51556°N 0.094861°W / 51.51556; -0.094861