St Botolph without Aldersgate

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• St Botolph's-without-Aldersgate is built on Aldersgate Street which led to one of the old gates of the City. The church is renowned for its beautiful interior and historic organ.

• The first church was built during the reign of Edward the Confessor and was a Cluniac priory with an attached hospital for the poor. The buildings were located outside the city wall. In the 15th century, Henry V seized the property on the grounds that it was not English and granted it to the parish of St. Botolph, but it again became a religious foundation when one William Bever founded a brotherhood of the Holy Trinity there.

• Upon the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the church, hospital and lands were granted to one of the king's heralds-at-arms, William Harvye or Somerset, in 1548.The medieval church was a Gothic building, divided by arcades into nave and aisles. There were three gables at the east end.

• In 1627, the steeple was rebuilt in Portland stone, and the rest of the church repaired. The church escaped the Great Fire, but, having become unsafe, was demolished and rebuilt in 1788-91 under the supervision of Nathaniel Wright, surveyor to the north district of the City of London. The plain exterior is contrasted by an "exalting" succession of beautiful features inside. The interior has wooden galleries supported on square panelled columns, Victorian stained glass windows, a semi-circular apse with a half dome, a highly decorative plasterwork ceiling, and the only 18th century stained glass window in the City, depicting The Agony in the Garden. The façade towards Aldersgate Street is a screen wall, erected in 1831, with a pediment and four attached Ionic columns standing on a high plinth, with a Palladian window between them.

• St Botolph's churchyard was combined with those of St Leonard Foster Lane and Christchurch Newgate Street into Postman’s Park and this now contains the 1900s Watts memorial to civilian Londoners who died heroic deaths.

The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950.


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