St Andrew Undershaft

St Andrews Undershaft is dwarfed by the three iconic buildings in the City of London which surround it; the Gherkin, The Cheesegrater and the Scalpel. There has been a church on this site since the 12th Century. It is dedicated to St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland.

The name “Undershaft” comes from a famous maypole that was erected on feast days in medieval times. . This pole or “shaft” was taller than the church’s tower, which meant that the church was “under the shaft”. So it became knowns as St Andrew Undershaft.

However, in 1517 the apprentices of London had a particularly riotous party on May Day so the authorities removed the pole as a punishment. There is a very small replica of the pole nearby under the Cheesegrater building in memory of this event.