Cloth Fair, EC1A 7JQ
The oldest surviving church in the City of London founded in 1123. Originally part of an Augustinian Priory the church survived the Great Fire and the Blitz.
Barbican, Farringdon, St. Paul's
4, 56, 153, 46, 25, 8
St Bartholomew’s was established by Rahere, a courtier and favourite of King Henry I. It is thought that it was the death of the king’s wife Matilda, followed two years later by the drowning of their heir Prince William, his brother, half–brother and sister, that prompted Rahere to renounce his profession for a more worthy life and make his pilgrimage to Rome.
In Rome, like many pilgrims, he fell ill. As he lay delirious he prayed for his life vowing that, if he survived, he would set up a hospital for the poor in London. His prayers were answered and he recovered. As he turned for home the vision of Saint Bartholomew appeared to him and said “I am Bartholomew who have come to help thee in thy straights. I have chosen a spot in a suburb of London at Smithfield where, in my name, thou shalt found a church.” A “suburb” here means outside the walls of the City but not outside the City itself, whose boundary is defined by the “bars” (e.g. Temple Bar, Holborn Bar).
True to his word Rahere set up both a church, a priory of Augustinian canons, and the hospital. He lived to see their completion – indeed he served as both prior of the priory and master of the hospital – and it is possible that he was nursed at Barts before his death in 1145. His tomb lies in the church.
The Priory was dissolved in 1539 and the nave of the Church was demolished. The monastic buildings were largely intact and the Canons’ choir and sanctuary were preserved for parish use. Under Queen Mary, there was briefly a house of Dominican friars here, before it reverted to being a Parish Church under Queen Elizabeth I.
Various parts of the building were damaged or destroyed through the centuries until the restoration began in the 19th century, first in the 1860s and then, under Sir Aston Webb, in the 1880s and 90s and on into the 20th century. St Bartholomew the Great is a living church but it also attracts those of no particular religious belief because of its architecture and sense of history.
religious, museum, historical house, community/cultural
Founded as a Black Death burial ground, the site has served as a Carthusian monastery, Tudor mansion, school and an almshouse, which it remains to this day. The Charterhouse opened to the public in 2017 with a new museum.
Henry Yevele, 1371
art in the public realm, education, offices
Chicago Booth's London campus combines the best of old and new. Located near St. Paul's, the campus features more than 50 pieces of contemporary art and houses our Executive MBA Programme Europe, Executive Education, and conference centre.
historical house, health, museum, community/cultural
Life and death in the archives, 1123-2023, is a unique exhibition detailing St Bartholomew’s Hospital's history and people, using photography, art and history from our archives and collections
James Gibbs, 1730
Tranquil Clerkenwell, so close to the bustling City has a distinct character and intriguing history. Once centred around great religious houses, the area has been the scene of fierce rebellion, innovative architecture, and major commerce.
Drop in / Guided tour
community/cultural, museum, library
St John's Gate in Clerkenwell dates from 1504 and was built for the Knights Hospitaller. 19th and early 20th century additions by Richard Norman Shaw and John Oldrid Scott. Grade I listed. Home to the Museum of the Order of St John.
Richard Norman Shaw, 1874
Join us to find out more about our incredible journey to create a new museum for London. Apply to join a special tour of the General Market (currently in construction), or come along to meet the architects and take part in free family-friendly drop-in activities.
Sir Horace Jones (1883) and T P Bennett and Son (1963) New Museum of London scheme: Stanton Williams Architects Asif Khan Julian Harrap Architects, 1883
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