St Benet Gracechurch

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St Benet Gracechurch
St Benet Gracechurch

The lost church of St Benet Gracechurch was first recorded in the 11th century. “Benet” is a shortened form of Benedict. The church was dedicated to St Benedict of Nursia – the patron saint of Europe and the founder of Western Monasticism. A hay market nearby was the origin of the second part of the name. “Gracechurch” is a corruption of “Grass Church” and Gracechurch Street still exists as one of the City’s main thoroughfares. A blue plaque on the Alianz building shows where the church stood as shown in the photo.

The original church was founded in 1053 and we know what that looked like from the Wyngaerde Panorama of 1543 as shown below. The church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren. However the church was demolished in 1868 under the Union of Benefices Act due to a lack of parishioners. When the church was demolished the human remains in the graveyard were taken to the City of London Cemetery in Manor Park on the outskirts of London to be reinterred. See the photo of that memorial below. That cemetery which contains many different memorials to the Lost City of London Churches is well worth a visit and I have publish a guide map to the memorials for those who are interested.

St Benet Gracechurch blue Plaque in Gracechurch Street
St Benet Gracechurch blue Plaque in Gracechurch Street
St Benet Gracechurch in the Wyngaerde Panorama of 1554
St Benet Gracechurch in the Wyngaerde Panorama of 1554
St Benet Gracechurch memorial in the City of London Cemetery
St Benet Gracechurch memorial in the City of London Cemetery

Although the church has been lost, the parish remains and has been united with the church of St Edmund King and Martyr. There are plenty of parish boundary markers of St Benet Gracechurch to explore around Gracechurch Street as shown in the photos below. You can find a walk to discover the lost churches of St Benet and St Martin here

St Benet Gracechurch and St Leonard Eastcheap parish boundary markers
St Benet Gracechurch and St Leonard Eastcheap parish boundary markers in Gracechurch Street
St Benet Gracechurch and All Hallows Lombard parish boundary markers
St Benet Gracechurch and All Hallows Lombard parish boundary markers in Gracechurch Street
St Benet Gracechurch and St Andrew Hubbard parish boundary markers
St Benet Gracechurch and St Andrew Hubbard parish boundary markers in Talbot Court