Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

St. Mary at Hill (London)

St. Mary at Hill is one of the fascinating churches in the old City of London.

Like some of the others, it is hidden away somewhat, and lies between Lovat Lane and the street called St. Mary at Hill.

The church was first mentioned in the mid 12th century, and in its early days a curate was Thomas a Becket, later sainted after being murdered when Archbishop of Canterbury.

It was rebuilt in the 15th century, but badly damaged in the Great Fire of London in 1666, not surprising as this started a stone`s throw away.

Christopher Wren rebuilt the church in 1670 to 1674, and the tower was rebuilt once again in the 1780s. It largely survived the Bllitz, but was badly damaged again by fire in 1988.

An atmospheric alley running beside the church between the two streets can no longer be traversed, as it was closed by order of the Vicar and churchwardens in the early years of the 21st century.

St. Mary`s was once known popularly as "The Fish Church", due to its proximity to Billingsgate Fish Market. Although this has now moved, it still holds the Fish Harvest Festival annually in October.

An organ in the church was designed by Mendelssohn.

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