St Mary Aldermary stands at the corner of Bow Lane and the old Roman road of Watling Street. It was first mentioned in 1181 but is almost certainly much older than this. The name “Aldermary” probably derives from “Older Mary” meaning the oldest church the City dedicated to St Mary of which there were previously 13 – the remains of which you can discover on my “All the Marys” walk.
Rebuilding of the church started in 1510 but may have taken 120 years to complete since we know the tower was only finished in 1630. The church appears on the Copperplate map of 1555 shown below.
Only 30 years later, St Mary Aldermary was one of the many churches destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666. It was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren unusually for him in the Gothic style maybe because there were fairly substantial remains still standing. The big church tower was not completed until 1704. The watercolour here by Pearson painted in 1812 shows its magnificent height.
The parish of St Mary Aldermary ended up absorbing several other parishes. St Thomas the Apostle was destroyed in the Great Fire and combine with St Mary Aldermary. St John the Baptist, also destroyed at the same time was combined with St Antholin. But St Antholin was also demolished later in 1875 under the Union of Benefices Act and merged with St Mary. A plaque on the wall of the church memorialises this union. St today the parish of St Mary Aldermary includes the parishes of 3 other churches. The parish map below shows were these were.
You can find parish boundary markers for many of these lost churches nearby as shown in the photos below
The wikipedia page for St Mary Aldermary