St Mary-at-Hill church, just round the corner from the Monument, was open and well worth a visit. They have just finished a new exhibition and there are some fascinating display boards. Their website is supposed to be www.stmary-at-hill.org, but it wasn’t working for me. I suspect it will have lots of lovely photos. Mine are lousy, so go and find some better ones – you won’t be disappointed. I recommend the blog and photos at http://www.alison-allmand-smith.co.uk/harvest-of-the-sea/ – this is the fisherman’s church, and there are some gorgeous displays.
It dates to 1336, the north aisle was rebuilt at the end of the C15, and was severely damaged by the Great Fire. Christopher Wren rebuilt the interior and east end, managed to save some of the medieval fabric, and added a lantern to the west tower. The tower was rebuilt in brick in 1787-88, and more changes were made in Victorian times. The church escaped damage in the Blitz, but a fire in 1988 caused severe damage. It has now been beautifully renovated, and is a pleasure to visit.
The organ is an 1848 William Hill organ. Thomas Tallis was organist here 1538-39. Lovely font too.
There are lots of fascinating memorials, and the display boards tell some lovely stories. The Resurrection Panel dates from the 1670s. It probably stood in the entry to the churchyard. It shows the Last Judgement. A triumphant Christ tramples Satan underfoot, as the dead emerge from their coffins to be judged.
Wilson Carlisle was Rector here from 1891 to 1926. He encouraged everyone to come to church, played his trombone from the pulpit, and was the founder of the Church Army.
I left through the old churchyard, out to the other side of the church. Good view down to the Shard.