Great St Barts

I spent a brief hour in this amazing, atmospheric, ancient building – the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great, founded in 1123 and probably London’s oldest church, described as ‘..the most important C12 monument in London…’ by Pevsner.

The Augustinian Priory was one of the wealthiest and most important in the City, and considerably bigger than today’s building, but the nave was destroyed at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16C – why only the nave, I wonder? – and the remainder of the building became the Parish Church.

Conjectural Plan of St Bartholomew at the Dissolution (http://www.medart.pitt.edu/image/England/London/St-Bartholomew/London-St-Bart-the-Great%20A.html)
Conjectural Plan of St Bartholomew at the Dissolution (http://www.medart.pitt.edu/image/England/London/St-Bartholomew/London-St-Bart-the-Great%20A.html)

Great St Barts

Great St Barts

Monuments include Sir Robert Chamberlayne, 1615journeyed to the Holy Land and died abroad; Sir Walter Mildmay, 1589, who founded Emmanuel College, Cambridge; and Edward Cooke, 1652.

15-7-17 Great St Barts LR-4559-2

The tomb of Sir Walter Mildmay, 1589, Great St Barts
The tomb of Sir Walter Mildmay, 1589, Great St Barts
Edward Cooke, St Bartholomew the Great
Edward Cooke, 1652, St Bartholomew the Great

William Bolton was Prior from 1505-32 and it is said he kept an eye on the monks from this window. He was a significant builder and as ‘Clerk of the Works’ built for both Henry VII and Henry VIII

Prior Bolton's Window, Great St Barts
Prior Bolton’s Window, Great St Barts

And of course the tomb of an extraordinary man, the founder Rahere

15-7-17 Great St Barts LR-4543

Rahere, the founder of St Bartholomew the Great
Rahere, the founder of St Bartholomew the Great

St Bartholomew the Great

The doorway into the church.

St Bartholomew the Great
St Bartholomew the Great

St Bartholomew the Great

You may be interested in
A visit to the Church
Mediaeval London
The History of the Priory
Flickering Lamps – excellent post on Great St Barts
London City Churches, 1896
The inhabitants of the Parish

 

2 comments

  1. The church is also a regular location for film and television productions. It has appeared in numerous award-winning films including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, The End of the Affair, Amazing Grace, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and The Other Boleyn Girl. It’s television appearances include Madame Bovary, The Real Sherlock Holmes, Spooks (MI-5 in the USA), and The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special.

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