Moving Chapels

The ransacking of churches and chapels in the wake of Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries throws up some rather odd stories that are difficult to pin down.

In my book ‘Old World Places from 1901 it is stated that there is a private chapel at Thorpe Hall in Lincolnshire built with stones from the church of St Mildred in the Poultry , “one of Wren’s smallest churches, demolished in 1872”

But  a search for further details leads to more confusion than clarification.

In John Strype’s Survey of the City of London and Westminster, it states that the church of St Mildred was after the Great Fire rebuilt at public charge but afterwards fully finished by the contribution in 1676 by the contribution of the parish of St Mary Colechurch with which it was united by an Act of Parliament. It was repaired and beautified in 1701.

It hath no pillars, the ceiling is plain, only adorned with a large Garland of fretwork. here is a large gallery at the west end.

This doesn’t sound much like a Wren church, though it is possible.

But  on the north side of the Poultry, to the west, was “a proper chapel, called of Corpus Christi; and St Mary, at the Coney Hope end, … founded by one Jonyrunnes in the reign of Henry III, in which  chapel was a guild or fraternity,   that may dispend in landes more than £20 pa. It was suppressed by Henry VIII, and purchased by one thomas Hobson, haberdasher, who turned this chapel into a fair warehouse and shops towards the street, with lodgings over them.”

So, which of the two is it?

The Records of the London M25 gives a brief outline of the church. It was first mentioned in 1175. It burned down in the Great Fire, was rebuilt by Wren 1676m demolished under the city Benefices Act of 1872.

It was merged with St Margaret Lothbury, St Martin Pomeroy, St Bartholomew by the exchange, St Margaret Colechurch, St Olave Jewry, St Christopher le Stocks.

So, no mention of the other chapel, but either way, it seems a long way to carry a pile of old stones, but stranger things have happened……

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