St Martin Outwich - The Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks

St Martin Outwich

• St Martin Outwich was located on the corner of Threadneedle Street and Bishopsgate. Of medieval origin, it was rebuilt at the end of the eighteenth century.

• A church of St Martin was built in the fourteenth century at the expense of members of the Oteswich family, from whom the church derives its name. The church escaped the Great Fire of 1666, but fell into decay, and was badly damaged in a fire of 1765 which destroyed fifty houses.

• The medieval church had a nave and south aisle, with a western tower. The patronage was in the hands of the earls of Surrey and then of the Outeswich family, until it was transferred to the Merchant Taylors' Company. In 1796 an act of parliament was obtained to allow the parish to raise money to rebuild the church. The Merchant Taylors, the Corporation of the City of London and the South Sea Company each made a contribution towards the total cost. The first stone was laid on the 4th May of that year and the new building, to the designs of Samuel Pepys Cockerell, was consecrated in November 1798.

• Due to the reduction in the size of the site, Cockerell's church was oval in plan, with a recess at the east end forming the chancel. The walls were decorated with pilasters, from the capitals of which rose a coved ceiling, pierced by four semi-circular windows. A fifth window, over the altar, contained stained glass coats-of-arms from the medieval church. Several monuments from the old church were also preserved, including one to John Oteswich and his wife. When the church was first built the pulpit was at the west end, with the pews facing away from the altar. The pulpit was moved to the west end as part of a programme of repairs and alterations by Charles Barry in 1827.

• The church was demolished in 1874 and its parish united with that of St Helen's Bishopsgate. Eighteen monuments were moved into St Helen's before St Martin's was destroyed.


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