St Bartholomew the Less was an Anglican parish in the City of London and the church of St Bartholomew's Hospital within the ancient hospital precincts. Since 1 June 2015 it has been a chapel of ease in the Parish of Great St Bartholomew, formed out of its parish and that of its neighbour St Bartholomew the GreatUse our London route maker site to arrange your visit to St Bartholomew-the-Less and other attractions in London.
The present establishment is the latest in a series of churches and chapels associated with the hospital over the past 800 years. Its earliest predecessor, known as the Chapel of the Holy Cross, was founded nearby in 1123 (at the same time as the priory, now the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great) before moving to the present site in 1184. Along with most other religious foundations the hospital was dissolved by Henry VIII. It was then refounded by King Henry VIII, when the chapel became an Anglican parish church serving those living within its precincts. Its suffix, "the less", was given to distinguish it from its larger neighbour, St Bartholomew the Great (the former priory).
The church's tower and west façade date from 15th century, with two of its three bells dating from 1380 and 1420. They hang within an original medieval bell frame, believed to be the oldest in the City of London. In 1793 George Dance the Younger, a Royal Academician, created a new octagonal interior within the shell of the medieval chapel, its clerestorey rising above the old walls. The new construction was made entirely of wood and soon became affected by dry-rot. In 1823 it was replaced under the supervision of Thomas Hardwick, who replicated the timber construction in stone with an iron ceiling. He also made alterations to the detailing.
St Bartholomew-the-Less Reviews
A wonderful church within Bart's hospital. Many associations with hospital staff of the past. As a previous medical student is was moving to attend a service recently. more »
Whenever possible my wife and I visit old churches. This little church is most atmospheric but for some reason I felt a little uncomfortable as we walked around. There were two elderly women praying a... more »
Peaceful church. Trained at Barts so know it well
Another one of those hidden London gems that has a fascinating story to tell about Pre Great Fire London - and a dainty 15th century memorial brass. The hospital courtyard and museum well worth a visit too
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