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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
19th March 1944 Tippett's oratorium Child of Our Time, premieres in London
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.
Tagged in this Tour: Rebels, Radicals & Rough Justice