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Inventory Site Record

St Margaret Pattens (City of London)

Brief Description

There has been a church dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch on this site for some 900 years. The fourth church was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and rebuilt by Wren. St Margaret Pattens was so-called to distinguish it from other City churches dedicated to St Margaret, the name possibly originating from a benefactor, or more likely connected with 'pattens', a type of undershoe made and sold near here. Rood Lane was at one time called St Margaret Pattens, its name changing when a rood or cross was erected in the churchyard while the church was being rebuilt. The small paved area to the south of the church features a single tree, but is important in the transition from the medieval street to the modern street of Eastcheap.

Practical Information
Site location:
Rood Lane/Eastcheap
Postcode:
EC3M 1HS
What 3 Words:
slap.broken.talent
Type of site:
Public Open Land
Borough:
City of London
Open to public?
Yes
Opening times:
unrestricted. Church: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm
Special conditions:
Facilities:
Events:
Occasional concerts in church
Public transport:
Tube: Bank (Central, DLR, Northern, Waterloo & City) / Monument (Circle, District). Bus: 15
Research updated:
01/12/2017
Last minor changes:
19/07/2023

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

Full Site Description

This Wren church stands on Rood Lane, part of the medieval street pattern of the City. A church dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch has been on this site for some 900 years, the fourth church destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666 and rebuilt by Wren between 1684 - 87 at a cost of £5,000. So-called as a means of distinguishing it from other churches dedicated to St Margaret, it is thought that the name Pattens may have originated from a benefactor, but it seems more probably connected with 'pattens' which were made and sold near here. Pattens were a type of undershoe consisting of a wooden sole fitted with leather straps and mounted on a large metal ring to raise the wearer from the muddy roads. The Pattenmakers' Company has been associated with the church since the C15th, as has the Basketmakers' Company, names of past masters and Prime Wardens of both companies being displayed within the church. Rood Lane was at one time itself called St Margaret Pattens, its name changing as a result of the erection of a rood or cross in the churchyard when the old church of St Margaret was pulled down, in order 'to obtain oblations from the devout to be applied in rebuilding the church' (Godwin) but this cross and the shrine in which it was enclosed was destroyed in 1538. At one time the church was owned by Richard Whittington who then conveyed it to the Corporation of London. After the Great Fire the parish of St Margaret was joined with that of St Gabriel when the latter was destroyed and not rebuilt, its churchyard remaining at Fen Court (q.v.). While St Margaret Pattens was being rebuilt a temporary building was used for services in Tabernacle Alley, a lane once near the present Fen Court. In 1954 the church ceased to be a parish church, becoming one of the City's Guild churches. Damaged in World War II, St Margaret Pattens was restored in 1955-6. In 1998 the tower and spire were restored.

The small paved area to the south of the church features a single tree, but is important in the transition from the medieval street to the modern street of Eastcheap. The churchyard had once extended under the adjacent shop that overlooks the paved area.

Plantation Lane, a new pedestrian street running alongside the church and leading to Mincing Lane, was created in 2005 as part of The British Land Company's Plantation Place development, designed by Arup Associates. Set in the paving is a work of art by artist Simon Patterson, Time and Tide, which was commissioned by Sir John Ritblat, Chairman of The British Land Company. It comprises a glass wall in the form of a light-box with an illuminated image of the surface of moon from Michael Light's book 'Full Moon' and lines of text inlaid in the pavement that list an extraordinary quantity of information pertaining for the most part to the history of the City. These lists include public buildings, churches, heraldic colours, livery companies, the processional route of condemned prisoners, Thames Crossings, invasions and disasters, kings, queens and bishops, Roman deity, and street names.

Sources consulted:

B. Cherry and N. Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London Vol. l: The Cities of London and Westminster', London, 1985; George Godwin & John Britton 'The Churches of London: A history and description of the Ecclesiastical Edifices of the Metropolis, Volume II', London, 1839; Simon Bradley & Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England, London 1: The City of London', 1997 (1999 ed.); Philip Norman, 'The London City Churches, Their Use, Their Preservation and Their Extended Use', The London Society, (1920s); church leaflet; London Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches data; www.commuterconsultant.com/2016/12/TimeandTide.html

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ331808 (533132,180833)
Size in hectares:
0.0083
Site ownership:
Diocese of London
Site management:
City of London Corporation Open Spaces Dept. (pavement tree in front of church)
Date(s):
1684-7
Designer(s):
Listed structures:
LBI: St Margaret Pattens Church
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

No
Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

No
Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:

No

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:
No
In Conservation Area:
Yes
Conservation Area name:
Eastcheap
Tree Preservation Order:
No
Nature Conservation Area:
No
Green Belt:
No
Metropolitan Open Land:
No
Special Policy Area:
No
Other LA designation:
None
Photos

St Margaret Pattens

St Margaret Pattens, May 2010. Photo: S Williams

St Margaret Pattens, May 2010. Photo: S Williams
2010
Engraving of St Margaret Pattens, 1838 reproduced from Godwin, 'The Churches of London' Vol II, 1839
1838

Click a photo to enlarge.

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.