St Antholin, Budge Row

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St Antholin, Budge Row, or St Antholin, Watling Street, was a church in the City of London. Of medieval origin, it was rebuilt to the designs of Sir Christopher Wren, following its destruction in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The 17th-century building was demolished in 1874.

The medieval church

The church, which is first recorded in 1119,Template:Citation needed was on the north side of Budge Row<ref name=ric/>(which no longer exists), at the corner of Sise Lane in Cordwainer Ward.<ref name=curio>Template:Cite book</ref> It was originally known as St Anthony's, or St Anthonine's.<ref name=godwin>Template:Cite book</ref>

The church was "re-edified" at the expense of Sir Thomas Knowles (Mayor of London in 1399 and 1410) and his son, also called Thomas. Both were buried in the church.<ref name=ric/><ref name=malc/> It seems to have been rebuilt again in 1513 by John Tate.<ref name=godwin/> It was repaired in 1616, at a cost of more than £900,<ref name=ric>Template:Cite book</ref> and in 1623 a richly decorated gallery was added,<ref name=godwin/> its front divided into 52 panels, each bearing a coat of arms.<ref name=malc/>

The church became noted for its early morning lectures, established in 1559, to announce which the bells would start to ring at 5 am.<ref name=wheat/>


St Antholin's was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666, and rebuilt in 1678-84 by Sir Christopher Wren,<ref name=cobb>Template:Cite book</ref> at a cost of £5,685, paid for from the coal tax, and from contributions.<ref name=malc>Template:Cite book</ref> The parish was united with that of St John the Baptist upon Walbrook, which was not rebuilt.<ref name=ric/>

The new church was Template:Convert long and Template:Convert wide; the tower, to the top of its spire, was Template:Convert high.<ref name=godwin/> The exterior of the body of the church was plain in style,<ref name=malc/> but the attached steeple was more unusual and elaborate: George Godwin, writing in the early 19th century said the tower and spire "although they might not be termed beautiful or pure, display great powers of invention, and are of pleasing proportions".<ref name=godwin/> The stone spire<ref name=ric/> was octagonal in plan, divided into storeys by horizontal ribs, with circular ribs at the corners. There were openings at the base of the spire, and it was crowned with the head of a classical column of the Composite order.<ref name=godwin/>

The ceiling of the new church was in the form of an oval dome, supported on eight columns standing on high plinths.<ref name=godwin/> Godwin noted that "the carpentry of the roof displays Wren's knowledge of constructive science, and may be studied with advantage." <ref name=godwin/> There was a small gallery with an organ at the west end, and a circular window at the east end, above the altar.<ref name=godwin/>

Nineteenth century

File:Bucklerbury House location of St Antholin Budge Row.JPG
The site of St Antholin's in the 21st century

In 1829, the upper part of the spire was replaced and the portion removed, with its dragon's head weathervane, was sold for £5 to Robert Harrild, a printer, who had it erected on his property, Round Hill House in Sydenham, now London SE26. It remains there today, now surrounded by modern houses.

The church was demolished in 1875 under the Union of Benefices Act to make way for the development of Queen Victoria Street.<ref name=wheat/> At this time many bodies were disinterred from the crypt and reburied at Brookwood Cemetery. The parish was then joined to that of St Mary Aldermary.<ref name=wheat>Template:Citation</ref>

St. Antholin, Nunhead

The proceeds from the sale of the site came to £44,990. Some of this went towards the building of the new church of St. Antholin in Nunhead,<ref name=wheat/> to a design by Ewan Christian. The new building also received the City church's reredos <ref name=BoESouth>Template:Cite book</ref> It was consecrated on 11 May 1878. It was gutted by incendiary bombs on 27 December 1940, but was rebuilt after the war, and reconsecrated on 12 October 1957, as St Anthony, Nunhead.

In 1990 the parish was combined with that of St Silas, Peckham Rye. St Antholin’s was declared redundant in 2001 and sold to a Pentecostal congregation. In 2003 St Silas was demolished and rebuilt on the same site, with the dedication of St Antony and St Silas . Two bells, one made for the City church of St Antholin in 1717, and one recast in 1925 from the metal of another, were hung in the new tower.

See also


  • List of Christopher Wren churches in London
  • List of churches rebuilt after the Great Fire but since demolished

Notes and references


Further reading

Template:Cite book

External links

Template:Churches in the City of London