St Christopher le Stocks - The Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks

St Christopher le Stocks

• St Christopher le Stocks was a parish church on Threadneedle Street. Of medieval origin, it was demolished in 1781 to make way for an extension of the neighbouring Bank of England.

• The earliest reference to the church is in 1282. The origin of the name is disputed: Freshfield (1876) maintains it refers to the City Stocks, which at one time stood close to the church, but Huelin {1996) believes it to be a reference to the nearby Stock Exchange. Endowments were bequeathed in 1427 and 1506.

• The church was burnt in the Great Fire in 1666, and rebuilt by Wren in 1671 using much of the surviving material, it was the first of his churches to be completed.

• During the eighteenth century, the Bank of England gradually bought up adjoining properties, extending its site into the parish. In 1781 it came to an agreement with the rector of St Christopher's and its patron, the Bishop of London, allowing the church to be demolished. This was not only motivated by a desire to build on the land, but also by a fear that rioters might use the church as a platform to attack the bank, a concern sparked by the Gordon Riots of 1780. The parish was united with that of St Margaret Lothbury in 1781, and the church pulled down the next year. The churchyard was also requisitioned in 1798, and now lies underneath the bank’s Garden Court.

• The upper panels of the pulpit dating from Wren’s 1671 rebuilding survive at St. Nicholas Church Canewdon in Essex and are a fine specimen of carving of the Grinling Gibbons style.

• The remains of those interred in the church and churchyard of St Christopher's were removed during development of the Bank of England in 1867 to Nunhead Cemetery in South East London. When the bank underwent wholesale redevelopment in the 1930s, further relocations of interred remains were made to Nunhead in 1933.


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