Place:St. Helen Bishopsgate, London, England


NameSt. Helen Bishopsgate
Coordinates51.5148°N 0.0818°W
Located inLondon, England
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

St. Helen's Bishopsgate is a large conservative evangelical Anglican church located off Bishopsgate in London.

It is located towards the east of the City of London within London's wall (no longer standing) and beside Bishopsgate [Street]. Parish registers began in 1575.

It is the largest surviving church in the City of London and it contains more monuments than any other church in Greater London except Westminster Abbey, hence it is sometimes referred to as the Westminster Abbey of the City.

It was the parish church of William Shakespeare when he lived in the area in the 1590s. In 1608, Sir Alberico Gentili, the founder of the science of international law, was buried in St Helen's Bishopsgate.


the following text is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The church of St. Helen dates from the 12th century and a priory of Benedictine nuns was founded there in 1210. It is unusual in that it was designed with two parallel naves, giving it a wide interior. Until the dissolution of the priory in 1538, the church was divided in two by a partition running from east to west, the northern half serving the nuns and the southern the parishioners.[3] It is the only building from a nunnery to survive in the City of London.

The priory had extensive monastic buildings; its hall was later used by the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers until its demolition in 1799. A crypt extended north from the church, under the hall.

In the 17th century two classical doorcases were added to the otherwise Gothic church. The building was heavily restored by John Loughborough Pearson between 1891-1893 and reopened on St John the Baptist's Day in 1893 by the Bishop of London, Frederick Temple.

St. Helen's was one of only a few City of London churches to survive both the Great Fire of London of 1666 and the Blitz during World War II. In 1992 and 1993, however, the church was badly damaged by two IRA bombs that were set off nearby.

The roof of the building was lifted and one of the City's largest medieval stained glass windows was shattered. The church has since been fully restored although many of the older monuments within it were entirely destroyed. The architect Quinlan Terry, an enthusiast of Georgian architecture, designed the restoration along Reformation lines.

Owing to parish consolidation over the years, the parish is now named St Helen's Bishopsgate with St Andrew Undershaft and St Ethelburga Bishopsgate and St Martin Outwich and St Mary Axe. The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors are the patrons of the benefice.

The church was designated a Grade I-listed building on 4 January 1950.

Wikipedia also contains a list of notable people buried in the church.

Greater London Research Tips

  • See under "London" and also under "Middlesex", "Surrey" and "Kent" for key information about Greater London's jurisdictions and records, plus links to indexes, reference aids and Family History Library holdings.
  • The London Metropolitan Archives (40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB) holds records relating to the whole of Greater London. Ancestry (subscription necessary) has produced transcriptions and provides images of lists of baptisms, marriages, and burials in churches across Greater London. These lists start in 1813 and stretch into the 20th century.
  • GENUKI has a long list of websites and archive holders in addition to London Metropolitan Archives above. (The list from GENUKI is not maintained so well that there is never a dead link in it. However, it is often worth googling the title given on the page just in case the contributor has reorganized their website.)
  • GENUKI also has a list of the Archives and Local Studies Libraries for each of the boroughs of Greater London.
  • The London Encyclopaedia by Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert. An e-book available online through Google, originally published by Pan Macmillan. There is a search box in the left-hand pane.
  • London Lives. A very useful free website for anyone researching their London ancestors between the years 1690-1800. This is a fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names.
  • London Ancestor, a website belonging to one of the London family history societies, has a list of transcriptions of directories from the 18th century, listing in one case "all the squares, streets, lanes, courts, yards, alleys, &C. in and about Five Miles of the Metropolis..." In other parts of the same website are maps of various parts of 19th century London and Middlesex.
  • The proceedings of the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court, 1674-1913. A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court. This website is free to use.
  • Registration Districts in London, Registration Districts in Middlesex, Registration Districts in Surrey, Registration Districts in Kent, are lists of the registration districts used for civil registration (births, marriages and deaths, as well as the censuses). There are linked supporting lists of the parishes which made up each registration district, the dates of formation and abolition of the districts, the General Register Office numbers, and the local archive-holding place. This work has been carried out by Brett Langston under the agency of GENUKI (Genealogy United Kingdom and Ireland) and UKBMD - Births, Marriages, Deaths & Censuses on the Internet.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at St Helen's Bishopsgate. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.