St Mary Abchurch
St Mary Abchurch is a Church of England church on Cannon Street in the City of London. Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is first mentioned in 1198-99.

The church dates back to the twelfth century. After the Reformation, Archbishop Parker persuaded Elizabeth I to grant the church to his College, Corpus Christi Cambridge, before St Martin's was demolished and the college has appointed the incumbent ever since. Restored and beautified in 1611, it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666, and rebuilt by the office of Sir Christopher Wren in 1681”“87 with a four-storey, 51-foot-high tower, a leaded spire and a red brick exterior with stone dressings. It was originally intended to be much larger, with a structure similar to St. Stephen Walbrook, however for reasons unknown the church was rebuilt to a smaller scale under the supervision of Robert Hooke. A bomb hit the church in September 1940 during the London Blitz. The greatest damage was to the dome, and Gibbons' reredos. Godfrey Allen repaired the church between 1948 and 1953. The dome was repainted by Hoyle and the reredos, smashed to pieces, was painstakingly restored over a period of five years. The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950.

The dome springs from four plain brick walls, has no external thrusts and measures over forty feet across. It was not painted until 1708 when the whole church went under repair and beautification. William Snow painted the dome's interior depicting worship in heaven, William Grey made the pulpit, and the door cases, a font cover, rails and Royal Arms are by William Emmett. Its grand altar-piece is by Grinling Gibbons. His original bill for what he called the 'Olter Pees' was discovered as recently as 1946 in the Guildhall Library. The gilded 'Pelican in her piety' makes its appearance both on the reredos and in the original copper weathervane made by Robert Bird, which was relocated to sit over the north door after being removed from the spire for health and safety reasons. Also to be seen there are original high box pews on three sides of the church. The church was without an organ until 1822, when public subscription allowed one to be built by J. C. Bishop. This however sustained serious bomb damage and a new organ was manufactured by N. P. Mander in the 1950s, using the 1717 organ casing once belonging to All Hallows Bread Street.

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via