St. George Botolph Lane

St. George Botolph Lane

Infobox church
name = St George Botolph Lane
fullname =
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imagesize =
caption = Current photo of site
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denomination = Roman Catholic, Anglican
diocese =
parish =
division =
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founded_date = 13th century
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constructed_date =
dedicated_date =
closed_date =
demolished_date = 1904
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archdeacon =
dean =
provost =
rector =
canon =
prebendary =
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minister =
seniorpastor =
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address = London
country = United Kingdom
phone =
website =

St. George Botolph Lane was a church off Eastcheap, in the ward of Billingsgate in the City of London. The rear of the church overlooked Pudding Lane, where the fire of London started. It was first recorded in the twelfth century, and destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. It was one of the 51 churches rebuilt by the office of Sir Christopher Wren. The church was demolished in 1904.


St. George Botolph Lane was the only church in the City of London dedicated to St George of Cappadocia, the patron saint of England. St Botolph was the Anglo-Saxon patron saint of travellers, consequently churches dedicated to him were usually located at city gates. There remain 3 churches in the City of London dedicated to St. Botolph (none by Wren) – St. Botolph Aldgate, St. Botolph Aldersgate and St. Botolph Bishopsgate. Botolph Lane, on which St. George’s stood, was named after a 4th – St. Botolph Billingsgate, which was destroyed in the Great Fire and not rebuilt.

The earliest surviving reference to St. George’s is in a late 12th century deed, as "St. George's in Estehepe". Other early records refer to the church as "S. George the Martyr near Estchep," "St. George Buttolph" and "Seynt George in Podynge lane,"

St. George’s underwent renovation in 1360 and 1627. According to John Stow, writing during the reign of Elizabeth I, the church had escaped the depredations of Tudor looting since its monuments ‘were well preserved from spoil’.

After the Fire, the parish was combined with that of St Botolph Billingsgate. Rebuilding commenced in 1671, using rubble from old St. Paul’s. Stone was recovered from St. Botolph’s for use in the walls. It was finished in 1676, at a cost of £4466.

The most famous character associated with the church was Lord Mayor and MP for the City of London William Beckford (father of the even more famous writer and constructor of follies, William Thomas Beckford). The sword rest used during his 1770 mayoral visit has the inscription “Sacred to the memory of that real patriot the Right Hon.William Beckford, twice Lord Mayor of London: whose incessant spirited efforts to serve his country hastened his dissolution..” It may now be found in St Mary-at-Hill.

The church’s proximity to Billingsgate fish market prompted Malcolm in London Redivivum (1803) to write ‘The narrow streets and alleys and their wet slippery footways will not bear description or invite unnecessary visits.’

St. George Botolph Lane fell into decay during the second half of the 19th century. The last service was held in 1890, and in May 1900 a letter to The Times reported that not only had the church been condemned as structurally unsafe, but the accumulation of human remains in the vault had become a health hazard. The church was closed in 1901 and demolished in 1904, the parish being combined with that of nearby St. Mary-at-Hill.

The site of the church is now occupied by Richard Seifert’s Farryner House of 1973. The churchyard gates survive in Lovat Lane

The building

The Wren church was a rough square, with its east front facing Botolph Lane. This consisted of 3 bays, with the centre bay protruding and slightly wider. The windows on the north and east sides were round headed, and the church had Portland stone dressings. The interior of the church was divided into a nave and aisles by four Composite columns.

The square tower was accommodated within the north west of the church. This had square belfry windows and was topped with a parapet with flaming urns on the corners.

The unique feature of the church was that it was built on a stylobate. The site was originally low lying and sloped down the hill toward the Thames, so the level of raised by Wren and made even by the construction of a platform.

A parish boundary mark can still be found on Fish Street Hill


*Jeffery, Paul. The city churches of Sir Christopher Wren, Hambledon Press, 1996
*Cobb, Gerald. London city churches, B T Batsford Ltd., 1977

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • (St.) George Botolph Lane —    On the west side of Botolph Lane and at the south east corner of George Lane. In Billingsgate Ward (O.S.).    Earliest mention: Temp. H. II. St. George s in Estehepe (Anc. Deeds, A. 1686).    Other names : Sancti Georgii de Estehepe, 31 Ed. I …   Dictionary of London

  • George Lane —    East out of Pudding Lane, at No. 30, to Botolph Lane (P.O. Directory). In Billingsgate Ward, on the north side of St. George s Church.    First mention: O. and M. 1677.    Named after the Church …   Dictionary of London

  • George Dance the Elder — (1695 ndash; 8 February 1768) was an English architect of the 18th century. He served as the City of London surveyor and architect from 1735 until his death. Among his public buildings in London, the most important is the neo Palladian Mansion… …   Wikipedia

  • St George in the East — For the civil parish abolished in 1927, see St George in the East (parish). St. George in the East St. George in the East seen from the south Country United Kingdom Denomination Church o …   Wikipedia

  • St Botolph's Aldersgate — St Botolph s without Aldersgate Photo of the church Country United Kingdom Denomination Church of England …   Wikipedia

  • St Botolph Billingsgate — Infobox church name = St Botolph Billingsgate fullname = color = imagesize = caption = Current photo of site landscape = denomination = Anglican diocese = parish = division = subdivision = founded date = 9th century founder = architect = style =… …   Wikipedia

  • (St.) Botolph Billingsgate —    On the south side of Thames Street, between Botolph Wharf and Cock s key (Leake, 1666). In Billingsgate Ward.    Earliest mention found in records : St. Botolph, Inquisition there 1181 (H. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. App. p. 68).    Forms of name : St …   Dictionary of London

  • (St.) George in Pudding Lane —    See St. George Botolph Lane …   Dictionary of London

  • (St.) George Eastcheap —    See St. George Botolph Lane …   Dictionary of London

  • William Lane Booker — Sir William Lane Booker, CMG , FRGS [ [ Colonial Correspondence, Booker, William Lane ] ] (12 July 1824 [ International Genealogical Index] , Batch No. C006339,… …   Wikipedia

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