I worked for many many moons in Liverpool Street. Actually started my career here so these are my happy hunting grounds. But saying that, I never really managed to investigate this lovely little church, St. Botolph without Bishopsgate in the heart of the financial district of the city of London. There is a pretty good website for the church with its history and about the saint. He is the patron saint of wayfarers and travellers. We should build a shrine to him at Heathrow and other railway stations.
Absolutely beautiful terracotta work on the arched windows and doors. But for the life of me, I simply cannot find more details about this extraordinary little building which is now a pub. You can see the beer kegs outside.
The raised casket contains his body while the lower vault contains his wife’s body. Surely that’s carrying the missionary position too far.
The church garden is lovely at the moment with flowers and seats for you to sit and enjoy. Its a very popular place to have lunch. On the other side of these seats are couple of sports courts. There was a big hoo haa when the cemetery was dug up and converted into these sport places but then I agree, why keep those old mouldering bones when you can actually use the place for some smiles and fun? It most certainly brings a buzz and energy into a place which can do with more of this stuff. Then I started into the church.
The altar with the lovely stained glass window.
The walls are full of these lovely memorials. This one is for Andrew Williaw. The language used is OLDE ENGLISH, lovely to read. For example, the first sentence of the plaque says, “Near to this place lyeth interred (in hope of a joyfull Refurrection) y body of ANDREW WILLIAW late of this parifh efq who departed this life y 10th of June Anno Dm 1700 in the 68th year of his age……You can read it but the spellings, the English usage and punctuation, fascinating.
Another plaque for John Tutchin who died in 1658. The skeleton on top is extraordinary, specially buttressed by the 2 cherubs.
Few more of the memorial plaques of different shapes, materials and sizes. There are also three military memorials, one for the London Rifle Brigade, the Royal Artillery and then finally for the parishioners who died during the wars.
This is for the London Rifle Brigade and with the roll call in a lovely little book under glass. Curious history of this brigade, this was raised from Royal Americans. I bet even the Americans will prefer to forget this, eh?
Here is the memorial for the Royal Artillery Company. The Church is surrounded with lovely stained glass windows with plaques at the base which show the names of the rectors of the church.
Lovely long list of the rectors.
There were these long semi transparent banners hanging down from the roof. The wooden carved church furniture was dark, stained with the history of centuries of worship. I ran my hands along the banister and almost felt the millions of emotions that this church has seen, joys, sorrows, love, hate, anger, remembrance.
A bell which was presented by the Bishop of London.
An extraordinary memorial, modern of course. The plaque says, “In memory of people with haemophilia who have died as a result of treatment with contaminated blood products”.
The Alms Box.
This is reputed to be the first memorial ever in England which commemorated the death of military personnel during the World War 1. The base memorialises the officers and men of the Honourable Artillery Company who died in the World Wars.
There are two gate posts, the gate itself has vanished, but they still stand. Both posts are gifts and seem to be built with taps to satisfy the thirst of passerby’s.
The Church Board.
On the other entrance, we have another wooden plaque for the memorial for the London and Provincial Clerks Association who died during the World War 1. It feels good to remember these brave volunteer civilian folks who died in their millions on the fields of Europe and across the world. Here’s to you, kind folks.
So we come to an end of this journey for this lovely little church. Here is the slideshow for those who are interested in bigger resolutions and more photographs.