St Gabriel FenchurchEdit profile
The Mortality Bill for the year 1665, published by the Parish Clerk’s Company, shows 97 parishes within the City of London. By September 6 the city lay in ruins, 86 churches having been destroyed. By 1670 a Rebuilding Act had been passed and a committee set up under the stewardship of Sir Christopher Wren to decide which would be rebuilt. Fifty-one were chosen, but St Gabriel Fenchurch in Langbourn Ward was one of the unlucky minority never to be rebuilt. The church was situated in the MIDDLE of Fenchurch Street, an inconvenient arrangement even for the higgledy-piggledy street patterns of the overcrowded "Square Mile". Stow says the church, first mentioned in 1315, took its name from the marshy ground on which it was built while Huelin asserts it derives from a mispronunciation of the Latin for the hay market in nearby Gracechurch Street. A prosperous parish it received three new bells in 1552 and was “beautified” in 1631. Following the fire it was united to St Margaret Pattens although its land holding was not finally resolved until 13 years later. Charitable bequests continued to be made using the old name and partial records still survive at IGI. Pevsner found three 18th century tombstones in nearby Fen Court. Notable tombs in the church included that of Benedict Spinola, the Elizabethan banker.