St Michael, Crooked Lane

Michael crooked lane.jpg
Coordinates: 51°30′39″N 0°05′14″W / 51.51070°N 0.087280°W / 51.51070; -0.087280

St Michael, Crooked Lane was an ancient parish church situated on the east side of Miles's Lane in Candlewick Ward in the City of London. It was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London by Sir Christopher Wren and demolished in 1831.

The church was in existence by 1304. It was an originally a small church, standing amongst the slaughter-yards of the butchers of Eastcheap. It was rebuilt on a much larger scale in 1336 by John Lovekeyn, four-times Lord Mayor of London, and received further benefactions from Sir William Walworth, who was Lord Mayor in 1374. The patronage of the church belonged first to the prior and convent of Christ Church, Canterbury until 1408 and later to the archbishop of Canterbury, becoming one of 13 peculiarities in the City of London belonging to him.

It was in the parish that the first cases of The Plague occurred in 1665.

After its destruction in the Great Fire of London, the church was rebuilt in 1687, by Sir Christopher Wren. The interior of the new church was 78 feet long, 46 feet wide and 32 feet high, with round-headed windows. James Peller Malcolm called Wren’s church "so plain as to be indescribable", noting only the Corinthian reredos, "the usual tablets" and the lack of an organ. There was a Portland stone tower, about 100 feet high, topped with a perforated parapet, with vases at its angles, and a spire – described by James Elmes as "remarkably picturesque" – with clock, weather-vane and cross.

The church was demolished in 1831 to make way for the wider approaches needed for the rebuilt London Bridge. Its parish was united with that of St Magnus the Martyr. A stained glass window In the church of St Magnus commemorates the former parish.

Washington Irving gave a long description of the church in his famed "Sketch Book" (published originally in 1863, re-published by Avenal Books/Crown Publishers in 1985),in the chapter entitled "The Boar's Head Tavern, Eastcheap." In searching for any remnants of Shakespeare's Falstaff, Washington Irving hears about a picture of the original tavern in St. Michael's Church but to no avail. Still, as always with author Irving, the trip is an entertaining and amusing one.,

This page was last edited on 25 April 2018, at 02:09.
Reference:,_Crooked_Lane under CC BY-SA license.

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