St. Helen’s, Bishopsgate
St. Helen’s was a priory of Benedictine nuns located in Bishopsgate Ward between St. Mary Axe Street and Bishopsgate Street. St. Helen’s is visible on the Agas map with the label
S. Elenwritten in the churchyard. Stow and Harben inform us that the priory was set up in 1212 by William Basing, the dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral (Stow; Harben).
The priory church was a unique building with two parallel naves divided by
partition betwixt the Nuns church, and Parish, Church(Stow). When the priory was surrendered during the reign of Henry VIII (1509–1547), the hall was given to the Leathersellers. The church was allowed to remain, but by 1799 only the two naves and bell tower were left of the old priory (Harben). The church has survived to the present day and can still be visited.
For more information about St. Helen’s, see their website.
- Harben, Henry. A Dictionary of London. London: Henry Jenkins, 1918. British History Online. Reprint. Open.
- Stow, John. A Survey of London. Reprinted from the Text of 1603. Ed. Charles Lethbridge Kingsford. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1908. Reprint. British History Online. Subscription. [Kingsford edition, courtesy of The Centre for Metropolitan History. Articles written 2011 or later cite from this searchable transcription. In the in-text parenthetical reference (Stow; BHO), click on BHO to go directly to the page containing the quotation or source.]
Last modification: 2016-05-27 14:37:29 -0700 (Fri, 27 May 2016) (tlandels)