St Leonard, Foster Lane

St Leonard, Foster Lane

St Leonard, Foster Lane
Ruins of St. Leonard's
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Roman Catholic, Anglican

St Leonard, Foster Lane, was a church of England church dedicated to St Leonard on the west side of Foster Lane in the Aldersgate ward of the City of London.[1][2] It was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and not rebuilt.


This church originally belonged to the College of St Martin-le-Grand.[3] It was founded in the 13th century by the dean and canons of St. Martin's,[4] to serve the inhabitants of the precinct, who had previously worshipped at the altar of St Leonard in the collegiate church.[1] The building, which was small, stood in the courtyard of the collegiate church, on the west side of Foster Lane.[3]

There is a record of a new window being installed in the chancel in 1533.[3] In 1579, the existing graveyard, being too small was leased out, and a new one laid out on an area of the precinct previously known as the "Dean's Garden" leased by the churchwarden and parishioners for a term of 61 years.[1] The building was repaired and enlarged in 1631,[3] at a cost of more than £500.[1]

The poet Francis Quarles, who died 1644, was buried there.[5]


St Leonard's was largely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and not rebuilt.[6] the parish instead being united to that of Christ Church, Newgate Street, and the site used as a graveyard.[1] Some ruins of the church remained, however, until the early 19th century, when they were finally cleared [7] to make way for the new buildings of the General Post Office.[3]

Despite the destruction of the church, the "Parish Dole"[8] was still available as late as 1907.[9]

Its former burial ground now forms part of Postman's Park.

Notes and references

External links

  • British history on-line
  • Visions of Britain
  • Old Bailey proceedings
  • Parish mouse
  • 1871 census
Anglicanism portal

Coordinates: 51°30′55″N 0°05′48″W / 51.5152°N 0.0966°W / 51.5152; -0.0966