St Peter, Westcheap

Church in/near City of London, existing until 1666

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Church · City of London · EC2V ·
MAY
29
2014

St Peter, Westcheap, sometimes known simply as ’St Peter Cheap’, was a parish church in the City of London.


St Peter Westcheap was originally built in the 12th century. In his will, dated 1361, Nicholas Faringdon, four times Lord Mayor of London, left money for the foundation of a perpetual chantry at the church. Both church and steeple were rebuilt with funds bequeathed by Sir John Shaw, who died in 1503; one of his stipulations was that the church should be reconstructed with a flat ceiling.

The 16th-century church was an aisled building; Richard Newcourt noted that, notwithstanding Shaw’s bequest, "Thomas Wood, Goldsmith was accounted a principal Benefactor, because the Roof of the middle Isle was supported by Images of Woodmen." Repairs were carried out in 1616-17, at a cost to the parishioners of £314.

The patronage of the church belonged to the Abbots of St Albans until the dissolution of the monasteries. Henry VIII then granted it to Lord Wriothesly, and it was inherited by his descendants the Earls of Southampton. The rector of the church from 1529 to 1534 was Thomas Goodrich, later Bishop of Ely and Lord Chancellor.

On 14 January 1559, during a royal progress through the City, Queen Elizabeth was presented with a Bible in English as she passed the church door.

Along with the majority of the parish churches in the City, St Peter’s was destroyed by the Great Fire in 1666. A Rebuilding Act was passed in 1670 and a committee set up under Sir Christopher Wren. It decided to rebuild 51 of the churches, but St Peter’s was not among them. Instead the parish was united with that of St Matthew Friday Street.

The site of the church was retained for use as a graveyard, and turned into a public garden in the 19th century. Three gravestones survive, as do the railings, which date from 1712

Main source

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Citations and sources

Gillian Bebbington's 1972 work on street name derivations

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Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)

Cruchley's New Plan of London (1848) FREE DOWNLOAD
Cruchley's New Plan of London Shewing all the new and intended improvements to the Present Time. - Cruchley's Superior Map of London, with references to upwards of 500 Streets, Squares, Public Places & C. improved to 1848: with a compendium of all Place of Public Amusements also shewing the Railways & Stations.
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John Rocque (c. 1709–1762) was a surveyor, cartographer, engraver, map-seller and the son of Huguenot émigrés. Roque is now mainly remembered for his maps of London. This map dates from the second edition produced in 1762. London and his other maps brought him an appointment as cartographer to the Prince of Wales in 1751. His widow continued the business after his death. The map covers central London at a reduced level of detail compared with his 1745-6 map.
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