Christchurch Greyfriars

Christchurch Greyfriars built heritage research project

Client: 
City of London
Date: 
2008-2011

During conservation of Christchurch Greyfriars, by the City of London Corporation, MOLA’s buildings archaeologists were called upon to analyse and record the structure. Originally the site of a medieval monastic church, razed to the ground by the Great Fire of London in 1666, a subsequent church by Sir Christopher Wren was also destroyed, during the Blitz of World War II.

A picture of how the site developed came to light, from its beginnings as a medieval monastic church through to its destruction during the Blitz.

Our investigations identified the extent and location of medieval masonry reused by Wren from the earlier monastic building. The analysis determined that the Wren church was chiefly constructed with reused masonry that was faced with decorative stone on the building exterior. Features of particular interest were also recorded, including fabric with masons marks and scorch marks from the Great Fire. The physical analysis was coupled with an assessment of archive material relating to the appearance of the two churches and in particular their interiors. The ruins are now a public garden.