St. Botolph without Aldgate

This is a Church of England parish church in the City of London, and as it is located just outside the city’s former eastern walls, a part of East London. It is one of four churches (three surviving) which is dedicated to the 7th century Saxon abbot, St Botolph or Botwulf who became the patron saint of travellers. Due to this aspect of Botolph’s patronage, these churches were situated at the City’s gates.

Records have mentioned a church was situated on this site in 1115 and it was rebuilt in the 16th century. It was completely rebuilt between 1741 and 1744 to a design by George Dance the Elder. It has been twice restored since then – 1888-1895 and 1965-66. The church survived the Blitz despite being hit by a bomb in 1941 which failed to explode.

The building is divided into nave and aisles with galleries on three sides supported by Tuscan columns. The church is lit by two rows of windows in each side wall above and below the galleries. The church is also unusual in that it is one of the few in the city to be aligned north-south instead of the usual east-west.

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