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:


Westminster Abbey», 1.7km

Gypsy Smith Memorial», 7.3km

St James Church Paddington», 3.2km

The Union Chapel», 1.8km

Southwark Cathedral», 0.9km

St George the Martyr and Dickens», 1.1km

Thomas Hardy's Tree», 1.7km

St John's Churchyard», 1.9km

Stars & Stripes Spire», 1.4km

St Patrick's Church and Tunnels», 1.3km

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