St Andrew by the Wardrobe

St Andrew by the Wardrobe was the last city church rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London.

About this church

The church has a history going back to the 13th century.

St Andrew's might seem understated, even plain. It has a simple brick exterior, with a rectangular brick nave and chancel with white stone quoins, and a simple tower.

The church was so badly hit during the Blitz that there was no chance to save the original Wren interiors. Instead, it was completely rebuilt inside the Wren walls, meticulously recreating the original 17th century design.

The church dates to the 13th century when it was linked to the nearby royal residence of Baynard's Castle. The castle is long gone but in the 14th century, Edward IV decided to move his state robes and regal paraphernalia from the Tower of London to storage in the Great Wardrobe near St Pauls. hence the name.

William Shakespeare would have known St Andrew's well. He worked at the nearby Blackfriars Theatre and bought a house in the parish. A modern memorial commemorates Shakespeare and a contemporary singer, musician, and composer named John Dowland, who was buried at nearby St Ann's, Blackfriars. St Ann's was one of the London churches not rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666, so he is remembered here.

St Andrew's has close links with several of the London Guilds, and the banners of the Mercers, Apothecaries, Parish Clerks & Blacksmiths are on display. The Mercers livery company serves as joint patrons of the church council.

In the entrance hall is a 15th century bell that may be the oldest bell in the City of London. The bell was one of three installed in St Andrew's in 1933 from its original home at St Mary's, Avenbury.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Train station within 250m
  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Café within 500m
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Upcoming special events at St Andrew by the Wardrobe

Other nearby churches

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St Martin within Ludgate

One of the most striking aspects about St Martin within Ludgate exterior is its tall, sharp leaded spire, which when seen from the lower part of Fleet Street, is a deliberate foil to the massive rounded dome of St Paul's Cathedral.

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St Benet Paul’s Wharf

There has been a church on this site, dedicated to St Benet (or Benedict), since the 12th century, Shakespeare refers to it and both Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey may have received the last rites here.

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St Paul's Cathedral

For more than 1,400 years, a cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood at the highest point in the city.

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