Inventory Site Record

St Laurence Pountney Graveyards (City of London)

Brief Description

St Laurence Pountney is so-named after Sir John Poultney or de Pulteney, Lord Mayor of London in the 1330s, who founded Corpus Christi College in the parish of St Lawrence. Church and college were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and not rebuilt, the parish then united with that of St Mary Abchurch. The site consists of two raised and railed gardens divided by a lower pedestrian passage to Martin Lane, the area in the north being the site of the church, which was used for burial after its destruction, with the original burial ground to the south. Both gardens are private, and contain trees, shrubs and a number of tombs, that to the south for private use of adjoining residences.

Practical Information
Site location:
Laurence Pountney Lane/Laurence Pountney Hill, Cannon Street
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Private Garden
City of London
Open to public?
Opening times:
private, but visible from outside
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Bank (Central, DLR, Northern, Waterloo & City) / Monument (Circle, District)
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news.

Full Site Description

Sir John Poultney or de Pulteney, Lord Mayor in 1330, 1331, 1333 and 1336, founded Corpus Christi College in the parish of St Lawrence and his name was given to the church. The chapel of Corpus Christi probably stood to the north of St Laurence in Candlewick Street by 1392. A lane has been known to exist here since the mid C13th, later called Laurence Pountney Lane after the church. According to John Stow, in 1370 the churchyard was used as the place where Flemish weavers were to gather for the purposes of hiring, whereas weavers of Brabant were to gather for the same purpose in the churchyard of St Mary Somerset (q.v.). The reason for this separation was due to disputes among the weavers. The church and college were destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and not rebuilt, the parish then united with that of St Mary Abchurch (q.v.). A plaque on site recalls this as the site of the church and College.

The former burial ground consists of two raised garden areas divided by a sunken pedestrian passageway to Martin Lane, the area on the north being the former site of the church. Both gardens have trees, shrubs and a number of tombs and are bounded by railings over a wall, which date from c.1780. Sir John Poultney's house had been on the west of Laurence Pountney Hill. A number of fine late C17th and early C18th houses survive in this area, including No. 7a Laurence Pountney Lane facing the former churchyard, built c1670 and the offices of the architectural practice of Edward I'Anson from 1851. L'Anson, who later moved to 6 Laurence Pountney Hill, was the architect of the doorway into the churchyard of 1860, and also carried out works to St Mary Abchurch. Restoration works were undertaken in the south ground in 2003 as a private residential garden of adjoining property.

Sources consulted:

Simon Bradley & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 1: The City of London', 1997 (1999 ed.); George Godwin & John Britton 'The Churches of London: A history and description of the Ecclesiastical Edifices of the Metropolis, Volume II', London, 1839; London Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches data; Gerald Cobb 'The Old Churches of London', Batsford, 1942.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ327808 (532740,180800)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
Diocese of London
Site management:
Listed structures:
LBII*: 1 - 2 Laurence Pountney Hill. LBII: Vestry House; retaining wall and railings of churchyard; 5 and 9 Laurence Pountney Lane, 6 Laurence Pountney Hill.
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Conservation Area name:
Laurence Pountney Hill
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Strategic Viewing Corridor

St Laurence Pountney Graveyards

St Laurence Pountney Graveyards, June 2010. Photo: S Williams

St Laurence Pountney Graveyards, South Enclosure, June 2010. Photo: S Williams
St Laurence Pountney Graveyards, Gate to North Enclosure, June 2010. Photo: S Williams
St Laurence Pountney Graveyard, North Enclosure, October 2002. Photo: S Williams

Click a photo to enlarge.

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