St Botolph without Aldgate

Aldgate High St


St Botolph can be found at the East End of the City of London. It gained the name Aldgate as it sits on the site of the Eastern gate of the Roman City. A building may have existed during the Dark Ages; however, its first mention was in 1125. The church survived the Great Fire in 1666 but fell into disrepair in the 18th century. A new church was built to the specifications set by George Dance the Elder. The interior was then remodelled by John Francis Bentley the architect of Westminster Abbey in 1888 – 1893.

The building sustained relatively minor damage during the Blitz of the Second World War. In 1965 a fire broke out in church, destroying vestments, stained glass and memorials, and damaging woodwork. The church was restored and re-hallowed in the presence of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1966.

St Botolph’s has the oldest working organ in the country. Pre-dating the current church (c1705), it is attributed to the organ builder Renatus Harris.

St Botolph also has a public garden that was made by Fanny Wilkinson the first female professional landscaper in the late 19th century.

St Botolph has a wealth of history especially of the Victorian Period. Should you be visiting Aldgate, this church and the public gardens are worth exploring.

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