London's oldest parish church


London's oldest parish church

London's oldest parish church is St Bartholomew's.

Location: West Smithfield, London

Description: St Bartholomew-the-Great, is the only surviving part of a Norman priory and London's oldest parish church.

The priory was established in 1123 by a monk named Rahere, who is buried in the church. Rahere was a court jester to Henry I, and on a pilgrimage to Rome Rahere almost died of malaria and was so grateful for his recovery that he vowed to build a hospital on his return to England. He is reputed to haunt the altar periodically.

In a dream he was saved from a winged monster by St Bartholomew and when he arrived back in England Rahere founded not only a hospital but also a priory and church dedicated to St Bartholomew.

St Bartholomew's Hospital ('Barts'), which has also survived, is London's oldest and best-loved hospital.

In 1725 Benjamin Franklin, the US statesman, served a year as a journeyman printer in the Lady Chapel.

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London's oldest parish church

London's oldest parish church is St Bartholomew's.

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Other places nearby:


St Marylebone Church», 2.2km

Westminster Abbey», 1.7km

Paddington Green Church», 3.2km

Stars & Stripes Spire», 1.4km

John Wesley Chapel», 0.7km

St Olaves Church», 1.0km

Acton Hill Church», 7.5km

The Union Chapel», 1.8km

Watching for Bodysnatchers», 6.7km

Temple Church», 0.5km

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