All Hallows the Less is first mentioned in 1216. It was known as “the Less” to distinguish it from the next door church of All Hallows the Great. An alternative name was “All Hallows upon the Cellar” due to its impressive vaults. In 1387 the church was expanded when two houses alongside were demolished and their plots donated to the parish. You can see an image of what the church looked like in the Copperplate Map of 1555. It was rebuilt again in in 1594 and further renovated in 1616. Then, in 1633, galleries were added to the interior.
Sadly all of these improvements came to naught when the church was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. Since the neighbouring All Hallows the Great was a more promising prospect, All Hallows the Less was not rebuilt and its parish was combined with its larger neighbour. Later, All Hallows the Great was also demolished in 1894 and both parishes ended up being combined with St Michael Paternoster Royal. This map from 1899 shows where the two churches stood and the parish boundaries
What remains of All Hallows the Less can be seen today ? Very little. After the church was destroyed, the churchyard remained until 1894 when the City of London Brewery was built on the site. The bodies were disinterred and sent via the Necropolis Railway to Brookwood Cemetery near Woking in Surrey. As a side note, you can still see the old Necropolis Railway ticket office at Waterloo where the trains carried coffins to the countryside for burial in either First, Second or Third Class.
Two photos show some physical remains. The first photo from 1922 shows the old church watch house next to the London Brewery. The second taken in the mid 1960s shows some remaining steps and the broken commemorative plaque.
These were also removed to make way for Mondial House – a BT telecoms hub. This futuristic looking building opened in 1978 stuffed full of analogue telecoms equipment which became obsolete by the 1990s and the building was demolished in 2006. Now a modern office block and a fire station stand on the site.
All that is left as a reminder of the of the two All Hallows churches is the name of the alleyway that runs down the side of Cannon Street Station – All Hallows Lane.