Place:St. Botolph Without Aldgate, London (City of), London, England

NameSt. Botolph Without Aldgate
Alt namesSt Botolph Aldgatesource: from redirect
St. Botolph Without Aldgatesource: from redirect
St. Botolph Aldgatesource: from redirect
Coordinates51.5139°N 0.07611°W
Located inLondon (City of), London, England     (1900 - 1965)
Also located inMiddlesex, England     ( - 1889)
Greater London, England     (1965 - )
See alsoHoly Trinity Minories, London (City of), London, Englandchurch with which it merged in 1899
NOTE: There may be some confusion between the parishes of St. Botolph Without Aldgate in the City of London and Stepney St. Botolph Without Aldgate. St. Botolph Without Aldgate was the ecclesiastical parish and most records up to 1837 would be church records. Census and other civil records were produced either by the City of London or by the Whitechapel Registration District from 1837 onward. Census records include more information allowing the user to distinguish whether the address is within or without the City of London. (The part of Stepney closest to London was named Whitechapel in the 19th century.)

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

St. Botolph Without Aldgate (#31) is a Church of England parish church in the City of London which lies outside the line of the city's former eastern walls, close to the Tower of London.

The geographical parish boundaries of the church extended into Stepney and in 1889, when the County of London was formed, St. Botolph Without Aldgate lost part of its civil parish to Stepney. This new parish became St. Botolph Without Aldgate, Stepney. In 1907 all civil parishes within the City of London were abolished and the City became a single civil parish.

Image:City of London Eastern Quarter 1870.png

The full name of the church is St. Botolph Without Aldgate and Holy Trinity Minories and it is sometimes known simply as Aldgate Church. The ecclesiastical parish was united with that of the Church of Holy Trinity, Minories in 1899. The parish of Holy Trinity Minories was transferred from the City of London to Stepney during the 1890s. It is not numbered on the map above, but can be identified as the most northern parish of Stepney which projects westward into the parish of St. Botolph Without Aldgate. In 1907 all civil parishes within the City of London were abolished and the City became a single civil parish.

The current 18th-century church building is made of brick with stone quoins and window casings. The tower is square with an obelisk spire. The church stands at the junction of Houndsditch and Aldgate High Street approximately 30 metres east of the former position of Aldgate, a defensive barbican or gate in London's wall.

The church was one of four in medieval London dedicated to Saint Botolph or Botwulf, a 7th-century East Anglian saint. Each of these churches stood by one of the gates to the City. The other three were St. Botolph Without Bishopsgate, a near neighbour of St. Botolph Aldgate; St. Botolph Without Aldersgate in the northwest of the city; and St. Botolph Billingsgate by the riverside (this church was destroyed by the Great Fire and not rebuilt).

Before the legend of Saint Christopher became popular, Botolph was venerated as the patron saint of travellers. This is thought to be why churches at the City gates have this dedication.


The earliest known written record of the church dates from 1115, when it was received by the Holy Trinity Priory (recently founded by Matilda, wife of Henry I (1068-1135)) but the parochial foundations may very well date from before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

The church was rebuilt in the 16th century at the cost of the priors of the Holy Trinity, and renovated in 1621. It escaped the Great Fire of London, and was described at the beginning of the 18th century as "an old church, built of Brick, Rubble and Stone, rendered over, and ... of the Gothick order". The building, as it stood at that time, was 78 feet long (24 m) and 53 feet wide (16 m). There was a tower, about 100 feet tall (30 m), with six bells.

The church was severely bombed at intervals during the Blitz in the Second World War. The church was designated a Grade I listed building in 1950. There was a further fire which caused much damage in 1965.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article St Botolph's Aldgate.

Research tips

Greater London Research Tips

A reminder that Greater London was not formed until 1965 and covers a much greater territory than its predecessor, the County of London formed in 1900. The City of London was only a part of the County of London. A map of the boroughs of Greater London is reproduced on all Greater London borough pages. A map of the boroughs of the smaller County of London is reproduced on all County of London borough pages.

Researching ancestors in London will probably be more successful than researching ancestors in the rest of England, particularly for the period before 1837 and the advent of civil registration. Baptisms, marriages and burials are available online for County of London parishes, and possibly for parishes throughout Greater London as well.

  • Anglican Parishes in London is a wiki here on WeRelate listing the places of worship of the established church throughout London. The churches are grouped within the post-1965 boroughs and for each is the street address, a link to the Booth Map (inner boroughs only), the time span for which the database AIM25 holds records, the FamilySearch Wiki link (see below), the Wikipedia link, and further notes. This is a work-in-progress and not all churches are listed as yet, but it is a guide to a great deal more information on those for which information has been gathered.
  • 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. Many of these lists start in 1813 and stretch into the 20th century; some start even earlier.


  • A street-by-street map of London (both sides of the Thames, and stretching from Limehouse, Stepney and Greenwich in the east to Hyde Park and Kensington in the west) drawn by Edward Mogg in 1806. Blows up to a very readable level. Highly recommended viewing. Shows named areas on the edge of the County of London (1900-1965) as the small villages they were in 1800. Streets in the City are named, but churches are missing.
  • The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers edited by Cecil Humphery-Smith and published by Phillimore & Co Ltd (edition of 1995) provides a map of the City of London indicating all the parishes and includes dates of commencement of registers for parishes formed before 1832.
  • Wikipedia has an expandable map of the area of devastation of the 1666 fire. The map includes the location of Pudding Lane where the fire started.
  • A map of London in the 1890s provided by the National Library of Scotland. There are a few steps between the home page index and the individual maps which may be difficult to follow for those who don't know London, but the maps themselves are produced at the scale of 5 feet to the mile on the original and are very clear. Houses on streets are marked, but not numbered.
  • Ordnance Survey map of London 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing London parishes just after the reorganization of 1899. The map was originally drawn over a street map at a scale of 1 inch to the mile and can be blown up to inspect a single borough. Only the major streets are marked and are only visible at maximum magnification. The City of London is an inset in the top right hand corner.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Middlesex 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing the parishes remaining in Middlesex after the reorganization of 1899 when much of the former area of Middlesex had been transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Surrey 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Surrey parishes (chiefly Southwark) just after the reorganization of 1899 when the most urban parts of Surrey were transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Kent 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Kent parishes just after the reorganization of 1899 when the western part of Kent had been transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Essex 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Essex parishes (West Ham, East Ham, Ilford) which were absorbed into Greater London in 1965.

Registration Districts

  • Registration Districts in London, Registration Districts in Middlesex, Registration Districts in Surrey, Registration Districts in Kent, and Registration Districts in Essex 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, and has been updated into the 21st century. If the only information about an individual has been obtained from UKBMD, the name of the registration district is considered a "placename" within WeRelate and can be used to provide a broad estimate of the location.


  • Deceased Online includes four of the "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries (Brompton, Highgate, Kensal Green, and Nunhead) in its inventory of 65 London cemeteries. Transcripts for Abney Park are free with registration online at Ancestry (international subscription necessary) has "London, England, City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Registers, 1841-1966". That leaves West Norwood without comprehensive online access to burial records. (Deceased Online and Ancestry may have increased their provision since this was written in 2016.)
  • As of October 2019 Ancestry has a file titled "England & Scotland, Select Cemetery Registers 1800-2016" which includes Abney Park Cemetery, Greenford Park Cemetery, Acton Cemetery, Ealing & Old Brentford Cemetery, Havelock Norwood Cemetery, Hortus Cemetery, South Ealing Cemetery, Queens Road Cemetery, and Chingford Mount Cemetery.
  • The City of London Cemetery, at Manor Park, near Wanstead in the London Borough of Redbridge also contains remains transferred from former parishes in the City of London whose graveyards have been replaced by streets and commercial buildings.
  • Brookwood Cemetery, beyond the Greater London borders in Surrey, was opened in 1854 for burials for Londoners. See the Wikpedia article.

Other online sources

  • See the FamilySearch Wiki under "London" and also under "Middlesex", "Surrey", "Essex" and "Kent" for key information about Greater London's jurisdictions and records, plus links to indexes, reference aids and Family History Library holdings.
  • 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 and GENUKI has not picked it up.)
  • 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.
  • A History of the County of London: Volume 1, London Within the Bars, Westminster and Southwark is only a part-volume from the Victoria County History Series provided by British History Online. It does not offer articles on each of the ecclesiastical parishes in the City of London, but there may be some references to churches that were linked to monasteries.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at St Botolph's Aldgate. 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.