|St Swithin's Church Garden||City of London|
There may have been a church dedicated to St Swithin here by the C11th with a churchyard by 1285/6. A late C13th heart-burial slab with engraved figure was discovered during excavations, now in the Museum of London. In 1420 a new and larger church was erected, its tower one of the first expressly built for hanging of bells. Destroyed in the Great Fire in 1666, St Swithin's was rebuilt by Wren in 1677-86 but later demolished following WWII bombing. Among those buried here was Catrin Glyndwr, daughter of Welsh hero Owain Glyndwr. She was captured in 1409 and taken with her children and mother to the Tower of London during her father's failed fight for the freedom of Wales. A memorial to Catrin Glyndwr and the suffering of all women and children in war was erected in the former churchyard, which survives as a raised public garden. In 2010 it has undergone re-landscaping as part of major development to the north.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/04/2011
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St Swithin's Church Garden with Memorial to Catrin Glyndwr, April 2011. Photo: W McDougall
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There was a St Swithin's Church on this site from an early date, possibly by C11th and a churchyard by 1285/6. In 1420 a new and larger church with steeple was erected, largely at the expense of Sir John Hind or Heende, Lord Mayor in 1391 and 1404. The tower was one of the first expressly built for hanging of bells. A late C13th heart-burial slab with engraved figure was discovered during excavations here, now in the Museum of London. Destroyed in the Great Fire, St Swithin's Church was rebuilt by Wren in 1677-86 at which time the parish united with that of St Mary Bothaw some stone of which was used to rebuild St Swithin's. Wren's church was demolished after it had been bombed in World War II, and its churchyard survives as a raised garden. Among the monuments in the church was a monument to Michael Godfrey (d.1695), one of the founders of the Bank of England. St Swithin's was the burial ground of Catrin Glyndwr, daughter of Welsh hero, Owain Glyndwr, and her two children. She was captured in 1409 and taken wither her children and mother to the Tower of London during Owain's fight for the freedom of Wales. By 1413 his uprising had failed and by December of that year Catrin and two of her children were dead and their burial at St Swithin's is recorded in Exchequer documents. A memorial sculpture in the garden is dedicated to both Catrin Glyndwr and to the suffering of all women and children in war.
Patronage of the church was at one time vested in the Salters Company and Salters' Hall Court recalls the Company's Hall, which was situated to the north on St Swithin's Lane from 1641 to 1941, on whose site St Swithin's House is now situated. At one time the church was known as St Swithin, London Stone referring to the location of the famous London Stone outside the south wall of the church. It was placed here in 1742 and built into the south wall of the church in 1798, and it was known to have been a landmark in c.1100 and is possibly of Roman origin. It is now found on the south front of No. 111 Cannon Street, the 1960s building that occupies the site of the bombed church, which was sold in 1960. In 2010 the garden has undergone re-landscaping as part of major development to the north.
Simon Bradley & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 1: The City of London', 1997 (1999 ed.); George Godwin & John Britton 'The Churches of London: A history and description of the Ecclesiastical Edifices of the Metropolis, Volume II', London, 1839; Philip Norman, 'The London City Churches, Their Use, Their Preservation and Their Extended Use', The London Society, (1920s); on-site plaque; London Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches data