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St Katherine Coleman Church was founded here by 1346; in c.1489 the then Lord Mayor of London William White either rebuilt the church or added the south aisle and in 1624 a new gallery was built. In 1734 the building was taken down, 'the surrounding ground having become so much raised as almost to bury the old church' (Godwin), and two Acts of Parliament enabled the parish to raise the necessary funds for a new church through annuities. Godwin in 1838 was most dismissive of the new brick church built in 1739/40 by James Horne, writing that 'It may be confidently stated that no parish in the metropolis would now allow such a piece of ugliness to be erected'. The C18th church was demolished in 1926, its last service having been held in 1921 and the proceeds of the sale enabled the building of St Katherine Westway; some of its monuments went to St Olave Hart Street (q.v.). The churchyard's stone gate piers and railings, probably C18th, remain on St Katherine's Row, previously called Church Row, where there is a plaque recording the site of the church. The church had extensive vaults accessed from the west of the church where graves were dug rather than coffins deposited therein; when the graveyard was cleared, remains were re-buried at City of London Cemetery (q.v.).
The site of the church was acquired by Lloyd's Register of Shipping, which had been established in 1760 to classify merchant ships for the purposes of insurance and whose offices on Fenchurch Street were built in 1899/1901 by T E Colcott. By the late C20th Lloyds' Register needed to expand and had purchased a number of adjacent plots of land. The former churchyard survives as a small public garden, which is also reached through the archway of 71 Fenchurch Street, and overlooked by the new building for Lloyd's designed by Richard Rogers Partnership in 1996-2000. As part of the development brief, it was required that the former churchyard was preserved and it was re-landscaped, retaining existing mature trees, with new planting, raised beds, stone and timber seating, and a stainless steel fountain.
George Godwin & John Britton 'The Churches of London: A history and description of the Ecclesiastical Edifices of the Metropolis, Volume II', London, 1839; Simon Bradley & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 1: The City of London', 1997 (1999 ed.); London Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches data. Information on Richard Rogers website for Lloyd's Register (www.richardrogers.co.uk)