St Alban Wood Street

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• St Alban's was a church in Wood Street but now only its tower remains.

• It is thought that it dated back to King Offa of Mercia, who is believed to have had a palace on the site which included a chapel. Offa founded an abbey also dedicated to St Alban in 793 and subsequently a number of churches were dedicated to the saint, who was the first British martyr, in the City of London. The accounts of the parish clerk date back to 930. In 1077 the abbot of St Albans exchanged the right of presentation of the cleric for this church for the patronage of another church belonging to the abbot of Westminster. At the time of King John the church was known as St Alban Wuderstrate.

• In 1633 Inigo Jones and Sir Henry Spiller, among others, were requested to examine the church, which had fallen into disrepair, and report on its condition. It was found to be beyond repair and was demolished and rebuilt in 1634.

• The church was completely destroyed in the Great Fire of London. It was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren in a late Perpendicular Gothic Style, and completed in 1685. After the fire the parish was combined with that of St Olave Silver Street, which had not been rebuilt.

• The church was restored in 1858-9 by George Gilbert Scott, who added an apse.

• The 92-foot high tower, which stood on the north side of the church, had four pinnacles which were replaced in 1879.

• The building was burnt out and partially destroyed during the Blitz in 1940. • The Parish Clerks Company’s third Hall which was also in Wood Street was destroyed in the same raid.

• The parish was united with that of St Vedast Foster Lane in 1954 and the remains of the body of the church demolished in 1965. The tower was left standing and today remains as a private dwelling on a traffic island. The tower was designated a Grade II listed building on 4 January 1950.

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