St Laurence Pountney

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• St Laurence Pountney was a parish church in the City. It stood in Candlewick Street in Candlewick Ward until its destruction in the Great Fire.

• In the reign of Edward III the weavers of Flanders held their meetings in the churchyard.

• It was an imposing building with battlements and a tall steeple which towers above the other City spires in the old prints of the time.

• Following the destruction of the majority of parish churches in the City by the Great Fire, the Rebuilding Act was passed and a committee set up under Sir Christopher Wren to decide which would be rebuilt. Fifty-one were chosen, but St Laurence Pountney was not amongst them. It was one of the first to perish and many felt it had been deliberately set on fire. Following the fire the parish was united to that of St Mary Abchurch.

• The site of the church was retained as a graveyard, and is now a privately owned garden, as is the church's original graveyard, just to the south. There was considerable concern for their upkeep and parish records between 1681 and 1791 order that ‘no clothes should be dried in the church ground’, ‘Mr Long’s cock and hens should not be in the churchyard’, ‘horses should be prevented from going through’ and ‘servants should not beat carpets against the tombstones’.

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