All Hallows Honey Lane
The Church of All Hallows, Honey Lane was a small Roman Catholic, and later Church of England, parish in the City of London, England. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and not rebuilt.

All Hallows Honey Lane was located at the north end of Honey Lane, a narrow lane leading north from Cheapside. The church was surrounded on three sides by churchyard and enclosed by private houses. It was situated about 200 feet (61 m) north of Cheapside. John Stow's Survey of 1603 indicates the parish was part of Cheap Ward of the City of London. After the Great Fire, the site, together with that of the adjoining church of St. Mary Magdalen Milk Street and several houses, was acquired by the City, cleared, and laid out as a market-place, called Honey Lane Market. The former church was situated in the northwest corner of this market. The market closed in 1835 and the Corporation of London built the first City of London School there. After the bombings of World War II, the area was comprehensively redeveloped. The alignment of present Honey Lane is about 140 feet (43 m) east of the original lane. The church site is now occupied by a British Telecom shop at 114 Cheapside.

The church may have originated as a private chapel associated with a nearby property, though it is not certain which property this might have been. The earliest historical reference to the church dates from the end of the 12th century in a deed (dated between 1191 and 1212) referring to a “Helias presbyter de Hunilane.” Other early spellings include: parochia Omnium Sanctorum de Hunilane (1204”“1215), St. Elfegi de Hunilane (1216”“1222, the only occurrence of an apparent alternative dedication), All Hallows de Honilane (1279), All Hallows in Honylane (1287), and Parish of Honylane (1297). A very small parish, it may originally have comprised only the area of those properties which surrounded Honey Lane and the churchyard and then been subsequently enlarged in the early 13th century. Even after this enlargement, the parish of All Hallows, covering only about 1 acre (0.4 hectare) in area, was one of the smallest in the City. There was a suggestion in 1658 that the parish should be united with St. Mary le Bow, but this was dropped and the two remained separate until after the Great Fire. In the late 12th and early 13th century, the small parish of All Hallows Honey Lane became one of the first centers in the City for the trade of mercery: trading in cloth, typically silk and other fine cloth that was not produced locally. The parish had several small shops and selds, or covered markets, specializing in the trade. The earliest known patron of the church was Henry de Wokyndon, in the mid-13th century. The advowson then passed to various private owners until 1446, when it was willed to the Grocers' Company. The Grocers' Company retained the advowson until the Great Fire. The Grocers' Company had a custom of appointing learned men as rector of the church, at least until 1540. In the mid-16th century, the Company appointed graduates from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, apparently in strict alternation. At the time of the Protestant Reformation, the church was known for its Lutheran sympathies. Dr. Robert Forman, rector from 1525 to his death in 1528 and president of Queens' College, Cambridge, over the same period, was a well-known early reformer famous for his sermons and his interest in Lutheran books and doctrines. His curate at All Hallows, Thomas Gerrard (or Garret), himself appointed rector in 1537, was even more active in spreading Lutheran doctrines. In 1540, Gerrard was found guilty of heresy and burnt at the stake in Smithfield with other Protestants. In 1543, other members of the parish were also examined for allegedly holding “heretical” doctrines.

The Mortality Bill for the year 1665, published by the Parish Clerks' Company, shows 97 parishes within the City of London. In the Great Fire of 1666, 86 churches were destroyed. By 1670 a Rebuilding Act had been passed and a committee set up under the stewardship of Sir Christopher Wren to plan the new parishes. Fifty-one were chosen, but All Hallows, Honey Lane was one of the unlucky minority never to be rebuilt. Its parish was united with that of St. Mary le Bow, but its name lived on as a ward precinct. Partial records survive at IGI.

Archaeologically no trace of the church is known to survive. After the church’s destruction in the Great Fire, the site was cleared. When the City of London School was built there in 1835, the site was excavated to a depth of over 15 ft. (4.57 m.) before concrete foundations were laid. Tiles, the pavement, and vaults of a church described as “Anglo-Norman” were found at that time. A rough pencil sketch made at about the same time, and entitled “part of old church discovered in Honey Lane,” shows the remains of masonry walls including three pointed arches over what appear to be blocked openings. Two “Norman” capitals and the capital of a “Saxon” column “adorned with twisted serpents.” were also found. These remains could have belonged to either of the two churches beneath the site of the school, or even to one of the houses nearby. At the very least they indicate that there was a stone structure there, perhaps the church of All Hallows, which was enriched with sculptural decoration, probably of 12th-century date. It is not known whether there had been any medieval rebuilding or enlargement of the church. However, because the structure described in the 1550s was apparently very simple, it is possible that this was the original church, altered little if at all. In the mid 16th century the church appears to have been a simple rectangular building, measuring about 60 ft. (18.29 m) in length by 23 ft. (7.01 m) in width. The church occupied the ground floor of the structure and the cellar below was owned separately, at least from the early 14th to the early 17th century. There was door on the south side of the church near the west end (opposite Honey Lane) and a chancel door, also on the south side. The church was surrounded to north, west, and south by its churchyard. In addition, excavations in 1954-5 on the site of the former No. 111 Cheapside uncovered a number of burials “clearly of medieval date.” It seems probable that they represent an area of early churchyard subsequently encroached upon by private building. It is not clear whether this early churchyard would have extended as far south as Cheapside. In addition to those in the churchyard, some burials were done in the church, presumably between the floor of the church, part of which was paved with stone and part boarded, and the ceiling of the cellar. A vault near the chancel is also mentioned. Despite its narrowness part of the church was referred to as the “south aisle;” several burials took place there in the 16th century and it may be the same as the “burial aisle” also mentioned in the register. In 1611 the parish bought the cellar, as a “more convenient place of burial for any of the inhabitants.” The first burial took place in the cellar (referred to as the “cloister” in the burial register) in 1613. A chapel of St. Mary within the church is mentioned in a will of 1380. In 1545, apart from the high altar in the church there were altars to Our Lady (possibly in the chapel mentioned) and to St. Thomas the Martyr. By the 1550s there was a gallery, reached by stairs, and the church had several pews and a font. Churchwardens' accounts, beginning in 1618, indicate there were two or more bells, hung probably in a belfry with a steeple. In Stow's Survey of 1603, of All Hallows Honey Lane he notes only, "there be no monumentes in this church worth the noting. I find that John Norman, Draper, Mayor 1453, was buried there."

Postcode Grid reference Bartholemew's Co-ordinates EC2V 6DY TQ324 811 E:532400 N:181100