St Dionis Backchurch
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St Dionis Backchurch was a
parish church in North Devon, England Image:St Lawrence's Church nave and chancel, Bourton-on-the-Water, Gloucestershire.jpg, Inside the parish church of Saint Lawrence in Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire, England A parish church (or parochial church) i ...
in the
Langbourn Langbourn is one of the Wards of the City of London, 25 ancient wards of the City of London. It reputedly is named after a Subterranean rivers of London, buried stream in the vicinity. It is a small ward; a long thin area, running in a west–e ...
ward of the
City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It co ...
. Of medieval origin, it was rebuilt after the
Great Fire of London Great may refer to: Descriptions or measurements * Great, a relative measurement in physical space, see Size * Greatness, being divine, majestic, superior, majestic, or transcendent People with the name * "The Great", a historical suffix to people ...

Great Fire of London
to the designs of
Christopher Wren Sir Christopher Wren President of the Royal Society, PRS Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS (; – ) was one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history, as well as an anatomist, astronomer, geometer, and mathematician-physicist. H ...
and demolished in 1878.


Early history

The church of St Dionis was dedicated to Dionysus the Areopagite. The name Backchurch could have come from its standing behind other buildings, or from its position relative to the church of St Gabriel Fenchurch. It was in existence by the year 1288, when Reginald de Standen was recorded as being the rector. In 1466 the Alderman John Darby had an aisle added, in which he was buried. The
patronage Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows on another. In the history of art, arts patronage refers to the support that kings, popes, and the wealthy have provided to artists suc ...
of the church once belonged to the prior and canons of and later passed to the dean and chapter of Canterbury Cathedral.


Rebuilding after the Great Fire

The church was destroyed in the
Great Fire of London Great may refer to: Descriptions or measurements * Great, a relative measurement in physical space, see Size * Greatness, being divine, majestic, superior, majestic, or transcendent People with the name * "The Great", a historical suffix to people ...

Great Fire of London
in 1666, and rebuilt to the designs of
Christopher Wren Sir Christopher Wren President of the Royal Society, PRS Fellow of the Royal Society, FRS (; – ) was one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history, as well as an anatomist, astronomer, geometer, and mathematician-physicist. H ...
in 1674 at a cost of £5,737. A tower, also to Wren's design, was added ten years later. Wren's church was 66 feet long and 59 feet wide. It was divided into nave and aisles by Ionic columns supporting an entablature. The ceiling of the nave was arched, and pierced with circular windows under groin vaulted openings, while the aisle ceilings were horizontal. There was a west gallery with an organ. The bell tower was divided into three storeys by string courses. At the top was an open parapet, and a small bell turret which had been removed by the nineteenth century. The church was built mostly of stone, with some brick which was later stuccoed. The east end of the church, in Lime Street, had a pediment and two pairs of coupled Ionic pilasters with a large window below carved festoons. A row of shops, built against the south wall, stood between the church and Fenchurch street. A City of London commemorative plaque noting the year of demolition is attached to the wall of the buildings that now occupy the former site of St Dionis Backchurch, opposite numbe
24 Lime Street EC3


Demolition

In 1858, the vestry asked the architect
George Edmund Street George Edmund Street (20 June 1824 – 18 December 1881), also known as G. E. Street, was an English architect, born at Woodford in Essex. Stylistically, Street was a leading practitioner of the Victorian Gothic revival. Though mainly an eccle ...

George Edmund Street
to examine the fabric of the church. He found that the church was in need of substantial repairs and recommended that the most economical course of action would be to demolish the whole church except for the tower, and rebuild it to a Gothic design of his own. Before any such plans could be carried out, however, the vestry decided that the church was no longer needed. In 1878 the parish was merged with that of
All Hallows Lombard Street Coordinates In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ''wikt:γῆ, geo-'' "earth", ''wikt:μέτρον, -metron'' "measurement") is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with propert ...
under the Union of Benefices Act of 1860 and the church demolished. While surveying the church, Street discovered that a fifteenth-century crypt had survived under the chancel of Wren's church. The church had a peal of ten bells, cast between 1726 and 1750. They were transferred to All Hallows Lombard Street when St Dionis was demolished. A parish mark can be seen in Philpot Lane. The church of St. Dionis, Parsons Green was built with the proceeds of the sale of the site of the City church, and its font and pulpit survive there. The burials were at the City of London Cemetery.


Present day

The parish now forms part of the combined
parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christianity, Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a priest#Christianity, priest, often termed a parish priest, ...
of ''
St Edmund the King and Martyr :''For the 9th-century King of East Anglia, Martyr and Saint, see Edmund the Martyr Edmund the Martyr (also known as St Edmund or Edmund of East Anglia, died 20 November 869) was king of Kingdom of East Anglia, East Anglia from about 855 until ...
, and St Mary Woolnoth Lombard Street with St Nicholas Acons,
All Hallows Lombard Street Coordinates In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ''wikt:γῆ, geo-'' "earth", ''wikt:μέτρον, -metron'' "measurement") is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with propert ...
,
St Benet Gracechurch St Benet Gracechurch (or Grass Church), so called because a haymarket existed nearby (Cobb), was a parish church in the City of London. First recorded in the 11th century, it was destroyed in the Great Fire of London of 1666 and rebuilt by the off ...
, St Leonard Eastcheap, St Dionis Backchurch and St Mary Woolchurch Haw'' – usually shortened to "St Edmund & St Mary Woolnoth". It is part of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, monarch is the Supreme Governor of t ...
's
Diocese of London In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted ...
.Diocese of London
St Edmund & St Mary Woolnoth


See also

*
List of Christopher Wren churches in London Christopher Wren, Sir Christopher Wren was 33 years old and near the beginning of his career as an architect when the Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed many of the city's public buildings, including 88 of its parish churches. Christopher Wren, ...
*
List of churches rebuilt after the Great Fire but since demolished This is a list of churches in the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and the primary ...


References


External links


www.oldlondonmaps.com
– engraving of the 1674 church
St Dionis Parsons Green
– Website of the current church at Parsons Green {{DEFAULTSORT:Saint Dionis Backchurch Buildings and structures demolished in 1878 Churches rebuilt after the Great Fire of London but since demolished Christopher Wren church buildings in London 1878 disestablishments in England