St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe
St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe is a Church of England church located on Queen Victoria Street, London in the City of London, near Blackfriars station.

History
First mentioned around 1170, St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe was almost certainly founded considerably earlier. During the 13th century the church was a part of Baynard's Castle, an ancient royal residence. In 1361, Edward III moved his Royal Wardrobe (a storehouse for Royal accoutrements, housing arms and clothing among other personal items of the Crown) from the Tower of London to just north of the church. It was from this association that the church acquired its unique name. The Wardrobe and the church, however, were both lost in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Of the 51 churches designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire, St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe is among the simplest of his designs; it was rebuilt in 1695. The church was again destroyed during the London blitz by German bombing; only the tower and walls survived. It was rebuilt and rededicated in 1961.

Building
St. Andrew's is situated on a terrace overlooking the street, its plain red-brick exterior contrasting with the stone buildings on either side. The interior is aisled, with arcaded bays supported by piers rather than the usual columns. The original interior fittings were mostly destroyed during the war, and many of the church's features were procured from other destroyed London churches. The weathervane on the steeple comes from St Michael Bassishaw (which was demolished in 1900). A replacement pulpit came from the church of St Matthew, Friday Street. The font and cover also came from here. There is a figure of St Andrew, dated around 1600, which stands on the north side of the sanctuary and an unusual figure of St Ann who is shown holding the Virgin Mary who in turn holds the Christ child. This statue, which is probably north Italian, dates to around 1500. St. Andrew's can boast of one of its former parishioners, William Shakespeare. Shakespeare was a member of this parish for about fifteen years while he was working at the Blackfriars Theatre nearby, and later he bought a house within the parish, in Ireland Yard. In his honour, a memorial was erected in the church. Regular Sunday services are conducted there by the St. Gregorios congregation of the Indian Orthodox Church. The church was designated a Grade I listed building on January 4, 1950.

Building Activity

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