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St. Michael's Cornhill, London

4.6
#143 of 266 in Historic Sites in London
St Michael, Cornhill, is a medieval parish church in the City of London with pre-Norman Conquest parochial foundation. The medieval structure was lost in the Great Fire of London, and replaced by the present building, traditionally attributed to Sir Christopher Wren. The upper parts of the tower are by Nicholas Hawksmoor. The church was embellished by Sir George Gilbert Scott and Herbert Williams in the nineteenth century.
The church of St Michael was in existence by 1133. The patronage was in the possession of the Abbot and convent of Evesham until 1503, when it was settled on the Drapers Company. A new tower was built in 1421, possibly after a fire. John Stow described the church as "fair and beautiful, but since the surrender of their lands to Edward VI, greatly blemished by the building of four tenements on the north side thereof, in the place of a green church-yard". On the south side of the church was a churchyard with what Stow calls a "proper cloister", with lodgings for choristers, and a pulpit cross, at which sermons were preached. These were maintained by Sir John Rudstone, after whose death in 1530 the choir was dissolved and the cross fell into decay.
There is a folk tale, dating from the early 16th-century, which tells of a team of bellringers who once saw 'an ugly shapen sight' appear as they were ringing the bells during a storm. They fell unconscious, but later discovered scratch marks in the masonry. For years afterwards these were pointed out as the 'Devil's clawmarks'.
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St. Michael's Cornhill Reviews
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Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Easy to miss as you hurry down Cornhill, this lovely little church is set back from the main line of building fronts, but well worth venturing inside to enjoy its sense of calm and serenity, or to enj...  more »
  • A very old church in London, dating back to Saxon times, and now squeezed in between the more modern buildings. Lovely both inside and out.  more »
Google
  • This is a church tucked in between relatively newer building so it is very long and thin. Inside, the church is very well maintained and quite decorative and very light and bright. The church has significant history and whilst not considered the oldest in London, it does date back to Saxon times. Its patron is The worshipful Company of Drapers.
  • Fabulous organ and acoustic. Outstanding choir sings choral evensong on Mondays
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