St. Michael Queenhithe

St. Michael Queenhithe

Infobox church
name = St. Michael Queenhithe
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denomination = Roman Catholic, Anglican
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demolished_date = 1876
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address = London
country = United Kingdom
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St. Michael Queenhithe was a church in the City of London located in what is now Upper Thames Street. First recorded in the 12th century, the church was destroyed during the Great Fire of London in 1666. Rebuilt by the office of Sir Christopher Wren ["The city churches of Sir Christopher Wren",Jeffery, P: London, Hambledon Press, 1996] , the church was demolished in 1876.


Pre-Fire London had seven churches named after the Archangel Michael, of which five were rebuilt after the Fire. Queenhithe is still a dock on the Thames, which was close to the church.

The earliest reference to the church is as "St Michael Aedredeshuda" in the 12th century (Aethelredhyth being an earlier name for Queenhithe). The church was also recorded as "St Michael upon Thames, St Michael in Huda, St Michael de Hutha Regina" and "St Michael super Ripam Regine".

John Stow described it as “A convenient church but al the monuments therein are defaced.”

During the Great Fire, Charles II and the future James II “came down from Whitehall by boat to Queenhithe and, from a high rooftop, saw dwellings, Company halls and churches blazing.” The flames soon engulfed St. Michael Queenhithe.

The church was rebuilt, incorporating some of the old walls, between 1676 and 1686 at a cost of £4375 [Vanished churches of the City of London Heulin,G: , Guildhall Library Publications, 1996] . The parish was combined with that of Holy Trinity the Less, also destroyed in the Fire, but not rebuilt.

Uniquely for a Wren church, a famous painter contributed to its decoration. According to Malcolm in London Redivivum, the church officers thanked Sir James Thornhill – father-in-law of Hogarth and painter of the grisailles on the ceiling of St Paul’s Cathedral for his “liberality in repairing and improving the painting which adorned the altar” in 1721. This was later destroyed.

Due to the move of population from the City to the suburbs in the second half of the nineteenth century, the church became redundant and the last service held in December 1875. The church was demolished in 1876 under the Union of Benefices Act 1860. The parish was combined with that of St James Garlickhythe, which also received much of the church fittings. The proceeds of the sale of St. Michael Queenhithe were used to build St Michael's Church, Camden Town.

The site of St. Michael Queenhithe is now occupied by Fur Trade House, completed in 1972.


St. Michael Queenhithe had its main front on the south and east facing the Queenhithe dock. It was five bays long from east to west and three bays long from north to south. The lower level of windows were round-headed and separated from the upper tier of circular windows by swags.

The entrance lobby and the vestry were built at a lower level than the body of the church [ "London city churches",Cobb,G: London, B T Batsford Ltd., 1977 ] .

The tower, on the northwest corner, was surmounted by a steeple reminiscent of a ziggurat, with five steps ascending on four sides to a pointed leaded spire rearing from the dais. At the top of the spire was a vane in the shape of a three-masted barque, of the type used to carry corn – a reference to the chief cargo unloaded at the nearby dock. Just underneath the ship was a brass sphere that could hold a bushel of grain.

After the church was demolished, the vane remained in situ perched on a miniature spire. It was moved to the top of the newly restored spire of St. Nicholas Cole Abbey in 1962, where it remains today.

A parish boundary mark can be found in Little Trinity Lane [See below]


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • (St.) Michael Queenhithe —    On the north side of Upper Thames Street, between Little Trinity Lane east and Huggin lane west. In Queenhithe Ward (O.S. 1880).    Earliest mention found in records : St. Michael de Aedredeshuda, 12th cent. (H. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. 63).… …   Dictionary of London

  • Queenhithe — …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Queenhithe — infobox UK place official name= Ward of Queenhithe map type= Greater London country= England region= London london borough= City of London latitude= 51.5102 longitude= 0.0991 os grid reference= TQ319808 post town= LONDON postcode area= EC… …   Wikipedia

  • Queenhithe Ward —    One of the twenty six wards of the City, by the riverside, bounded on the north by Bread Street and Cordwainer Wards, east by Vintry Ward, west by Castle Baynard Ward, and on the south by the river.    First mention: 1289 (Cal. L. Bk. A.… …   Dictionary of London

  • Queenhithe —    South out of Upper Thames Street, at No. 6o, to the river (P.O. Directory). In Queenhithe Ward.    First mention: The highway called Queenhithe is mentioned 1 Ed. VI. 1547 as the northern boundary of certain messuages in the parish of St.… …   Dictionary of London

  • St. Michael's Church — For a larger gallery (and hence a structured list) of church images, see :Commons:Structured gallery of churches dedicated to Archangel Michael. St. Michael s Church may refer to: Contents 1 Albania …   Wikipedia

  • (St.) Michael Huggin Lane —     St. Michael de Hoggenelane, 1275 and 1310 (Ct. H.W. I. 25, 215). St. Michael in Hoggenelane, 1301 and 1363 (ib. I. 154, and II. 79). St. Michael de Hoggenecherch, 1298 (ib. I. 135). St. Michael in Hoggynlane, 1368 (ib. II. 115).    Qy. = St.… …   Dictionary of London

  • (St.) Michael super Ripam Regine —    See St. Michael Queenhithe …   Dictionary of London

  • (St.) Michael upon Thames —    See St. Michael Queenhithe …   Dictionary of London

  • Pudding Lane, Queenhithe —    Formed the eastern boundary of a wharf called Tymber hyde in parish of St. Mary Somerset bounded on the south by the Thames, 26 H. VI (H. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. 18), and the western boundary of a great messuage in parish of St. Michael Queenhith… …   Dictionary of London

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