This church is situated on the east side of , and at the south-western corner of . It is a rectory, and appears to have been all along in the dean and chapter of , subject to the arch-deacon. It is of considerable antiquity, as is evident from the notice thereof, when Ralph de Diceto was dean of , about .
This church having suffered in the great fire of , it was rebuilt, and the parish of St. Leonard, , added to it.
The plan is an oblong square, with a tower at the north-west angle. The west front is in divisions, of which is occupied by the tower, in which is a lintelled doorway, on the basement floor, covered with a cornice, sustained upon tryglyphs, and the key stone of the arch, which is sculptured with a cherub's head ; above this is a long, window, the head slightly arched, the key stone formed into a cherub's head, the whole surmounted by a cornice resting upon the key stone; and above is a circular aperture containing the dial. The next story which rises above the church, has a lintelled window in each face; and the succeeding story also contains, windows, the heads of which occupy the tympanum of pediments extending across each face, above which the elevation finishes with a parapet. A leaded spire is constructed above this story, which consists of a dome having
|circular perforations on its surface, on the vortex of which is a small temple with faces, each of which is finished with a pediment, and represents a small portico: upon the centre of this temple is placed a square obelisk, which is finished with a ball and vane. The other division of the front is similar to the basement story of the tower, except that it has no entrance; the elevation is finished with a balustraded parapet. In the north side of the tower are windows, of which is long and the other circular; and in the same side of the church are other windows, with circles above to correspond. Beneath the window from the west is an entrance, now walled up. The elevation finishes with a balustraded parapet. The east end has no window. Part of the south front is concealed by houses; in the remainder are windows with circles above, in the same style as the opposite side, with an entrance beneath of the windows.|
A portion of the plan of the interior, at the west end, is occupied by a vestibule formed in the lower story of the tower, and the vestry. The body of the church is without aisles or columns. The ceiling is arched and groined into compartments, corresponding in number with the windows made by ribs crossing the church, and resting on imposts, formed of escallops and shields alternately, accompanied by palm branches, and surmounted by a small cornice enriched with acanthus leaves; the soffits of the ribs are pannelled, and the pannels filled with flowers; the groins are drawn to an edge, and on the points of intersection are coupled cherubs' heads. Across the west end is a gallery ; the front consists of an entablature and attic in carved oak, the pilasters enriched with carvings of fruit and foliage, and cherubs' heads, in lime-tree; the workmanship most probably of Gibbons. In the wall above this gallery are arches, and a clock dial highly ornamented, The altar is a very splendid composition, the screen is of oak with gold enrichments, and made by Corinthian columns into divisions, the central is covered with an elliptical pediment and attic, and contains the decalogue on its pannels. In the side compartments are paintings of Moses and Aaron. On the cornice are the royal crown and supporters. All the friezes and enrichments are adorned with carved work in foliage and heads; the work, no doubt, of the eminent sculptor before-named. On each side of the screen is a square pannel, with a highly enriched border of carved work, containing the Creed and Lord's Prayer, and surmounted with shields, having the initials I H S., with a cross and nails. The wall over the screen is painted with a red curtain drawn up, and disclosing the sky with a glory in the centre. The pulpit is octagonal, of carved oak, and is situated against the south wall. The font, at the south-west corner of the building, is a circular white marble basin, adorned with cherub's heads, and standing on a pedestal enriched with scrolls.
This church was rebuilt by sir Christopher Wren after the great fire, and finished in , at the expense of It is in length about feet, breadth , and height . The tower and spire are feet in height. This is of the few remaining churches in the metropolis which is destitute of an organ: this is attributable to the predominance of Quaker influence in the parish.
There are no monuments worthy of notice.
Mr. Malcolm in his Londinium Redivivum, published , has extracted much curious matter from the church books of this parish : respecting the parish feasts' is the following:--
All the church plate was sold this year for
The distracted state of religion will appear in most odious colours from many of the following extracts:
The queen (Mary) made an
the above year: upon which occasion the front of the church was hung with arras towards . The expense of putting it up was and the cost
Mary's ideal pregnancy cost our parish something considerable; as they
--Thus we find not only the birth presupposed, but even the very sex determined.
The time was now arrived when all the preceding ornaments were to perish, and the church become once more the temple of what was, and still is, rational devotion.
We have now arrived at the period when the church of St. Benedict (so often adorned, and so often stripped of its decorations,) yielded to the purifying flames a helpless victim; and thus terminated, I hope for ever, the animosities which had reigned in it, with respect to forms of worship.
The old iron and lead cleared from the ruins of ( tons of the latter) sold for ; and the old bell metal for
The church plate and books were removed from place to place, as each were rendered dangerous by the approach of the dreadful element, and cost
. The steeple was standing, but was paid to prevent people from passing under it.
It was at this time that the parish was united to that of St. Leonard, .
Mr. Malcolm says he found but very few particulars relating to the rebuilding of St. Benet's church; or what sum itcost, or how raised, from the church books. It was completed in the year , when
was paid, being
. They paid for the great bell; for the small . for the clock and for the dial .
On the east side of Fish-street Hill, near the corner of Little is the church-yard of St. Leonard, the church of which was destroyed by the great fire in .
This parish is a rectory, and of the peculiars in this city belonging to the archbishop of Canterbury, the patronage of which formerly belonged to the prior and convent of Canterbury, but at present is in the dean and chapter of that see. It appears to have been of ancient foundation, and derived its name from St. Leonard, a French saint, the additional epithet serving to distinguish it from another church in this city dedicated to the same saint.
The oldest parish books extant are dated . The vicinity of the vestry-room to the spot where the dreadful calamity of had its origin, was probably the cause of the loss of the more ancient ones.
 Malcolm. vol. i. p. 318.
 In the Gent.«s Mag. vol. xxvi. p. 602, the church is said to have cost 3583l.
 Malcolm, vol. i. p. 319.
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|CHAPTER I: The site, extent, buildings, population, commerce, and a view of the progressive increase of London|
|CHAPTER II: List of the parishes and churches in London, with their incumbents, &c|
|CHAPTER III: History and Topography of Aldersgate Ward|
|CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of Aldgate Ward|
|CHAPTER V: History and Topography of Bassishaw Ward|
|CHAPTER VI: History and Topography of Billingsgate Ward|
|CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of Bishopsgate Ward, Without and Within|
St. Botolph's Church without Bishopsgate
St. Helen's Church
Priory of St. Helen
Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem
Priory of St. Mary Spital, or New Hospital of our Lady without Bishopsgate
Brotherhood of St. Nicholas
The London Tavern
New London tavern
The Marine Society
Sir Paul Pindar's House
|CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of Bread-street Ward|
|CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of Bridge Ward Within|
|CHAPTER X: History and Topography of Broad-street Ward|
Allhallows Church, London Wall. 1760
St. Bartholomew the Little, or St. Bartholomew by the Exchanges
St. Benet Fink
St. Martin Outwich Church. 1794
Plan of St. Martin Outwich Church. 1760
St. Peter le Poor. 1760
Priory of Augustine Friars
St. Anthony's Hospital
The French Church
The Bank of England
St. Christopher le Stocks
Merchant Taylor's Hall
South Sea House
The Auction Mart
|CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of Candlewick Ward|
|CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of Castle Baynard Ward|
St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Andrew by the Wardrobe
St. Benet, Paul's Wharf
St. mary Magdalen
Baynard Castle, 1660
College of Arms
Regalia of a King of Arms
The Court of Arches
The Prerogative Court
The Court of Faculties and Dispensations
The Court of Admiralty
The Court of Delegates
|CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of Cheap Ward|
|CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of Coleman-street Ward|
|CHAPTER XV: History and Topography of Cordwainer's-street Ward|
|CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of Cornhill Ward|
|CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Ward Within|
|CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of Cripplegate Yard Without|
|CHAPTER XIX: History and Topography of Dowgate Yard|
|CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of Farringdom Ward Within|
St. Martin Ludgate
House of Friars' Preachers
House or Convent of Grey Friars or Friars Minors
South View of the West Cloister of the Grey Friars
Old College of Physicians
The Gentleman and Porter
The Bishops Palace
The Chapter House
St. Faith's Church
St> Paul's School
|CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of Farringdon Ward Without|
St. Andrew, Holborn
St. Bartholomew the Less
St. Bride's, alias St> Bridget
St. Dunstan's in the West
St. Bartholomew the Great
Priory of St. Bartholomew
House of Carmelites or White Friars
Hospital of St. Bartholomew
Lamb Conduit, Snow Hill
Gaol fo rthe City of London and County of Middlesex called Newgate
The Scottish Hospital
|CHAPTER XXII: History and Topography of Langbourn Ward|
|CHAPTER XXIII: History and Topography of Lime-street Ward|
|CHAPTER XXIV: History and Topogrpahy of Portsoken Ward|
|CHAPTER XXV: History and Topography of Queenhithe Ward|
|CHAPTER XXVI: History and Topography of Tower Ward|
|CHAPTER XXVII: History and Topography of Vintry Ward|
|CHAPTER XXVIII: History and Topography of Wallbrook Ward|