St Mildred, Bread Street

St Mildred Bread Street was a church in Bread Street Ward of the City of London dedicated to the 7th century Saint Mildred the Virgin, daughter of Merewald, sub-king of the West Mercians and one of the few to retain Wren's original fittings into the 20th Century.

The earliest record of the church of St Mildred is of its rebuilding in around 1300. It was an aisled building, with a clerestory. It was repaired throughout in 1628, but destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666. After the fire the parish was united with that of St Margaret Moses.

The church was rebuilt in 1677-83 to the designs of Sir Christopher Wren at a cost of £3,705 13s 6d. It was 62 feet long and 36 feet wide. The new building was without aisles, the ceiling taking the form of a plastered dome constructed within the roof space, with short barrel vaults at the east and west ends. The dome was decorated with cherubs in high relief, and supported on highly decorated pendentives. There was one window in each of the four walls. The frontage to Bread Street, at the western end, was faced in Portland stone with a curved pediment, but the rest of the church, including the tower, was of brick. There was a wooden spire, covered in lead.

The poet Percy Bysshe Shelley married Mary Godwin in the church on the 30 December 1816.

In 1898 many bodies were disinterred and removed to Brookwood Cemetery. In 1932 a bust to the first Governor of New South Wales was unveiled on the west wall of the church.

The church, with its fittings, remained in original condition until its destruction by bombing in 1941 when most of its records lost; The parish became one of the eight to have been reunited with St Mary-le-Bow at different times.

Building Activity

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