St. Andrew Undershaft

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St. Andrew Undershaft stands at the southeast corner of St. Mary Axe Street in Aldgate Ward. Built sometime before the twelfth century, it was refurbished in 1520. Stow asserts that the Tudor rebuild saw the church roofed with timber and seeled, also the whole South side of the Church was glased (Stow). The church must have been a marvellous site upon its completion; even Stow called it faire and beautifull (Stow). The church still stands on the same site today, surviving both the Great Fire and the Blitz, in World War II.
The church of St. Andrew Undershaft is the final resting place of John Stow. A memorial near his grave, paid for by his wife, still exists today (Beer). The memorial shows him sitting at a desk, quill in hand (Dixon).
Stow notes that the church is named Undershaft because that of old time, euerie yeare on May day in the morning it was vsed, that an high or long shaft, or May-pole, was set vp there, in the midst of the streete before the south doore of the sayd Church, which shaft when it was set on ende, and fixed in the ground, was higher then the Church steeple (Stow). Henry Harben, however, disagrees. He suggests that the church was named after a permanent object near the church: the hillock or artificial knob in the middle of the street opposite the church containing a socket in which the shaft was set up (Harben).
St. Andrew Undershaft is easily identifiable on the Agas map. It is a church with a large bell tower and is identified by the label S. Andrewe Vnder Shafte.


Last modification: 2017-03-15 17:14:07 -0400 (Wed, 15 Mar 2017) (mholmes)
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MLA citation:

Adams, Neil. “St. Andrew Undershaft.” The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Web. 16 January 2018. <>.

Chicago citation:

Adams, Neil. n.d. “St. Andrew Undershaft.” The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed January 16, 2018.

APA citation:

Adams N. (n.d.). St. Andrew Undershaft. In J. Jenstad (Ed.), The Map of Early Modern London. Retrieved January 16, 2018, from

TEI citation:

<bibl> <author><persName><surname>Adams</surname>, <forename>Neil</forename></persName></author> (<date>n.d.</date>). <title level="a">St. Andrew Undershaft</title>. In <editor><persName><forename>J.</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></persName></editor> (Ed.), <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>. Retrieved <date when="2018-01-16">January 16, 2018</date>, from <ref target=""></ref> </bibl>