St Martin Outwich

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St Martin Outwich by Godwin 1839
St Martin Outwich by Godwin 1839

The church of St Martin Outwich stood at the corner of Threadneedle Street and Bishopsgate. It was built in the 14th Century and paid for by the Oteswich family which was corrupted to “Outwich” as the name of the church. It was lucky enough to escape the Great Fire of 1666 but was badly damaged in a later fire in 1765 which also destroyed 50 other houses.

We know from a floor plan that this medieval church had a north and south aisle and a western tower but the image on the Wyngarerde panorama from 1544 shows an unremarkable building with little much more than a cross to mark its presence. An etching by Toms in 1739 shows the two aisles , a stumpy tower and a tall cross.

St Martin Outwich Wyngaerde panorama 1544
St Martin Outwich Wyngaerde panorama 1544
St Martin Outwich floor plan 1797
St Martin Outwich floor plan 1730
St Martin Outwich 1739 by Toms
St Martin Outwich 1739 by Toms
St Martin Outwich interior 1795
St Martin Outwich interior 1730
St Martin Outwich by Shepherd 1850
St Martin Outwich by Shepherd 1850

After the fire the church was not rebuilt until 1796 to a design by Samuel Pepys Cockerell and finally consecrated in 1798. The Cockerell design was oval in shape with a curious circular turret for the bell tower. It was further altered and repaired in 1827 by Charles Barry (of Houses of Parliament fame).

This new church lasted less than 100 years. It was demolished in 1874 under the Union of Benefices Act and the parish was united with St Helen Bishopsgate. The human remains from the church are reburied in the City of London Cemetery near Manor Park. There is a fine monument with an inscription which marks the spot. Otherwise if you are looking for tangible evidence of the church there is the blue plaque on the corner of Threadneedle St and Bishopsgate that marks where it one stood. If you g around the corner into the alleyway called While Lion Court off Cornhill you will find a small parish boundary marker as shown in the photo.

St Martin Outwich reburial memorial
St Martin Outwich reburial memorial
St Martin Outwich Blue Plaque
St Martin Outwich Blue Plaque
St Martin Outwich parish boundary marker 
St Martin Outwich parish boundary marker in White Lion Court