All Hallows the Great

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The church of All Hallows the Great was demolished in 1894 under the Union of Benefices  Act. It was known as “the Great” to distinguish it from All Hallows the Less which stood next door in Upper Thames Street as shown in the picture below. Demolishing the church allowed Upper Thames street to be widened. The parish was combined with St Michael Paternoster Royal. 

All Hallows the Great and Less
All Hallows the Great and Less

The church was first mentioned in 1107 as “All Saints the Seamen’s church”. It also served as the church of the German Hanseatic league based in the Steelyard nearby. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. The parishes of All Hallows the Great and Less were then combined with only the former being rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren. It was completed in 1684.

All Hallows the Great 
All Hallows the Great by John Coney

Three subsequent buildings have been built on the site . The first was the City of London Brewery which was destroyed in the Second World War. Next was the Mondial telephone exchange, during the building of which the original floor plan of the church was excavated and exposed as shown in the floor plan below. This in turn was demolished in 2006 and the Dowgate Fire station now stands on the site.

All Hallows the Great Floor plan 
All Hallows the Great Floor plan 

The only memorial to the church is the name “All Hallows Lane”. But parts of the church were reused. The rood screen shown in the Godwin etching below can now be seen in St Mary Lothbury. The pulpit was also saved and installed in St Paul’s Hammersmith. 

All Hallows the Great interior
All Hallows the Great interior by Godwin 1840
All Hallows the Great exterior by Godwin 1840
All Hallows the Great exterior by Godwin 1840
All Hallows the Great Hollar panorama 
All Hallows the Great shown on the Hollar panorama of 1550 
All Hallows the Great on the Copperplate map 1555
All Hallows the Great on the Copperplate map 1555

The Wikipedia page on All Hallows the Great has further information, as does the Company of Parish Clerks