St Catherine Colemen - The Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks

St Catherine Colemen

• St Katherine Coleman, known earlier as "All Hallows Coleman-church", was a parish church in the City, situated in Magpie Alley (on the south side of Fenchurch Street) in Aldgate Ward. It narrowly escaped the Great Fire, but was rebuilt in the eighteenth century.

• The church was in existence by 1346, when the name of a rector is recorded. In about 1489, William White, then Lord Mayor, rebuilt or added the south aisle. In 1624 a new gallery was constructed. St Katherine's was rebuilt in 1741, at the expense of the parish, to a “  ‘vernacular palladian’ design by James Horne. Never regarded as one of the more spectacular City churches, it was built of brick, with window and door surrounds of rusticated stonework. The interior was a plain room, with a flat ceiling, coved at the sides, ornamented with a single oval panel, with a flower at the centre. There was an arched recess at the east end to accommodate the reredos. Beneath the church was a burial vault, entered through a door at the west end.

• The parish was designated for amalgamation under the Union of Benefices Act 1860 but soldiered on until 1926. The final service was held on November 20, a joyous occasion (as reported in the City Press) after which it was quickly demolished. The gate piers and railings of the churchyard, which probably date from the eighteenth century, survive, and the site of the churchyard itself is now a public garden, owned by Lloyd's Register of shipping. It was re-landscaped in 1996-2000. Money raised by the sale of the site was used to erect a new church in Fulham. After the clearance of the graveyard, the burials were re-interred at the City of London Cemetery.


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