A page of Lost London Churches walks for you to explore. Click on the links below to get more information. The title link takes you to the blog page about the walk and the orange button will bring up a Google map of your walk. As you walk along, you should be able to see the route on your phone with a marker showing if you are on the right path.
A walk in the City of 6 km to find the churches dedicated to St Nicholas and St Olave – of which only 2 of the original 7 remain. St Nicholas of Myna (now modern day Demne in Turkey) was the patron saint of sailors and merchants. His habit of giving unexpected gifts made him the model for Santa Claus – from the Dutch “Sinterklaas” – a shortened form of “Sint-Nicolass”.
There were originally 5 churches in the Cit of London dedicated to St Martin and 4 dedicated to St Benet. Only one of each remains. This walk takes you around a 5.4km path to find the remains of the lost churches in blue plaques and parish boundary markers. It starts and ends at the Black Friar pub.
A walk to discover the seven churches dedicated to St Michael in the City, of which only two remain. This walk of 3.5 km starts and ends near Leadenhall Market with its convenient restaurants and bars for a post walk celebration.
In 1500 there were 15 churches in the City of London dedicated to a St Mary. St Mary was by far the most popular dedication, with the next most poplar being All Hallows (8 churches) and St Michael (7 churches). This, of course, was helped by the fact that there are two St Marys – Mary the Virgin, the mother of Jesus and Mary Magdalene one of Jesus’s followers who was present at the crucifixion. But even if we count only the churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it was still the most popular dedication with a total of 13. Now there are only 5 left, but this 4.5km walk will help you discover the boundary markers and blue plaques of the lost churches as you tour “All the Marys” both lost and extant.
Boundary marker for the lost church of St Mary Bothaw
One of the best areas to explore in the City if you are hunting ancient parish boundary markers is Cheapside. Start at the New Change shopping centre and look up above the shops under the eaves. You will find a treasure trove of boundary markers in an extraordinary juxtaposition of the medieval and the modern. Click on the link in the heading above or here for detailed photographs of what you will find.
This walk of 12km takes you around the boundaries of the City of London past all of the cast iron, dragon headed columns that mark the edges of the City like the one on the right here. The arrow symbols on the map mark the dragons.
Although the boundary line actually runs down the middle of the Thames, this walk takes you along the South Bank which gives you great views of the City and St Paul’s Cathedral.
This circular walk of 4 km takes you around the four churches dedicated to St Botolph. As you may know, St Botolph is the patron saint of trade and travel so his churches were next to city gates. That meant travellers could say a prayer and ask for a blessing before setting off on a journey.
One of the churches – St Botolph Billingsgate is lost. It was destroyed in the Great Fire of London (which started at nearby Monument) and was never rebuilt. Billings “gate” was the port of London and you can see the old fish market building which still stands and was in use up until 1982 when the market moved to Canary Wharf.
The Eight (Deadly) Hallows walk takes you past the sites of the eight churches that were dedicated to “All Hallows” in other words, all the saints. Today only two of these churches remain, but you will find evidence of the others as you explore. It also goes past the public execution site of Tower Hill. All the details can be found on our blog page here
A 2 km walk that starts at the Monument to the Great Fire and takes you past the sites of five lost churches variously dedicated to St Leonard and to St John. It also goes past the famous “London Stone” which is reputed to have mystical properties, and the sites of St Mary Bothaw, St Swithin London Stone and St Thomas the Apostle, all of which no longer exist. It ends in Smithfield Market – a great spot for lunch or dinner…more details here
A tiny plaque to St John the Evangelist above Boots
A walk to discover the wall plaques that mark the sites of the old City of London Gates. You are mainly following the path of the old Roman City walls and will come across some remains of that ancient fortification on the way. The names of the gates will be familiar to you from street names in the City: Ludgate, Newgate, Aldersgate, Cripplegate, Moorgate, Bishopsgate, Aldgate, Billingsgate and Traitors Gate… more details here