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

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VIEW THE CITY OF LONDON AREA IN THE 1800s
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VIEW THE CITY OF LONDON AREA IN THE 1830s
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VIEW THE CITY OF LONDON AREA IN THE 1860s
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VIEW THE CITY OF LONDON AREA IN THE 1900s
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City of London

The City of London constituted most of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD to the Middle Ages, but the conurbation has since grown far beyond its borders.

As the City's boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, it is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of Greater London, though it remains a notable part of central London. It holds city status in its own right and is also a separate ceremonial county.

It is widely referred to as 'The City' (often written on maps as City and differentiated from the phrase 'the city of London') or 'the Square Mile' as it is 1.12 square miles in area. These terms are also often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom's financial services industry, which continues a notable history of being largely based in the City.

The local authority for the City, the City of London Corporation, is unique in the UK and has some unusual responsibilities for a local council, such as being the police authority. It also has responsibilities and ownerships beyond the City's boundaries. The Corporation is headed by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, an office separate from (and much older than) the Mayor of London.

The City is a major business and financial centre, ranking as the world's leading centre of global finance. Throughout the 19th century, the City was the world's primary business centre, and continues to be a major meeting point for businesses.

The City had a resident population of about 7000 in 2011 but over 300,000 people commute to it and work there, mainly in the financial services sector. The legal profession forms a major component of the northern and western sides of the City - especially in the Temple and Chancery Lane areas where the Inns of Court are located, of which two—Inner Temple and Middle Temple - fall within the City of London boundary.
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