St Michael Paternoster Royal

‘On the 15. of June, Wat Tylar being slaine, the king went to this Ladie Princesse his mother, then lodged in the Tower Royall, called the Queenes Wardrobe: which Tower was in the Parish of St. Michael de Pater noster’

The only other surviving church within the parish is St Michael Paternoster Royal.

The church was founded by Richard ‘Dick’ Whittington, Mercer and four times Lord Mayor of London.

Cue: oh no it wasn’t .. oh yes it was.

The original church stood on College Road, which was once named Paternoster Lane, as it was the place where rosaries were made and sold. Nearby was another road: Le Ryole, a corruption of the town of La Reole in Bordeaux, and the site of wine merchants. It was also the home of a royal tower which, among other things, protected the Queen Mother during the Peasants' Revolt of Wat Tyler in the 14th century, after the fall of the Tower of London.

Whittington rebuilt St Michael’s as a collegiate church, administered by a college of priests, known as Whittington College (hence College Hill).

Richard Whittington was buried on the south side of the altar, and a stone now marks the site.

The medieval church was destroyed in the fire, and the rebuilt parish amalgamated with St Martin Vintry (a site now occupied by offices on the south-east corner of Queen Street and Upper Thames Street).

On July 23rd, 1944 a V1 flying bomb destroyed most of the church. It was the last City church to be rebuilt in the late 1960s.

The church was re-opened in 1968 and became home to the Mission to Seafarers.

It is now a chapel within the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. It is ‘home’ to half a dozen livery companies, and is available for weddings and baptisms.

There are also rooms available for hire as office or meeting space. See SMPR room hire information and contact details here.

A floorstone marking the site of the tomb of Richard 'Dick' Whittington at St Michael Paternoster Royal
A floorstone marks the site of the tomb of Richard 'Dick' Whittington
The view of St Michael's along College Street. On the left is the hall of the Worshipful Company of Innholders
A stained glass window depicting Dick Whittingon and his cat

Read about the rest of the St James Garlickhythe parish here: