St Mary Axe, London

St Mary Axe, sometimes referred to as St Mary Pellipar, was a mediaeval church in the City of London whose full name was St Mary, St Ursula and her 11,000 virgins situated just north of Leadenhall Street. First mentioned as St Mary apud Ax, it belonged for a time to the nearby Priory of St Helen’s. At the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries it was still extant but in decline, and in 1562 it was offered to Spanish Protestant refugees as a place of worship. Three years later, however, it was unused and in a state of disrepair. Shortly afterwards it was pulled down and its parish united with that of St Andrew Undershaft.

The church also gave its name to the street, St Mary Axe, which runs from Leadenhall Street to Houndsditch. Number 30 was the former location of the Baltic Exchange before the building was blown up in 1992 (the Baltic Exchange is now located at 38 St Mary Axe), and more recently the Gherkin was built on the site.‎ () It was also the location of the sorcerer's shop in Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta The Sorcerer, which documents the former pronunciation Simmery Axe.

Building Activity

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