St Bartholomew-the-Great

sights / Religious

St Bartholomew-the-Great information

London , England
West Smithfield
+44 20 7600 0440
Getting there
Tube: Farringdon or Barbican
More information
adult/concession £5/4.50
Opening hours
8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri, 10.30am-4pm Sat, 8.30am-8pm Sun
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Dating to 1123 and adjoining one of London's oldest hospitals, St Bartholomew-the-Great is one of London's most ancient churches. The authentic Norman arches and profound sense of history lend this holy space an ancient calm, while approaching from nearby Smithfield Market through the restored 13th-century half-timbered archway is like walking back in time. The church was originally part of the monastery of Augustinian Canons, but became the parish church of Smithfield in 1539 when King Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries.

William Hogarth was baptised here and the young American statesman Benjamin Franklin worked in the yard as an apprentice printer. The church has been used as a setting for many films and TV productions, including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love , Sherlock Holmes and a very funny mobile-phone advertisement satirising the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. Look out for the astonishing Damien Hirst gilded statue of St Bartholomew with his flayed skin, located in the south transept by the the steps to the south doors. The Cloister Cafe in the 15th-century cloister is great for a meal or snack and can be accessed without paying the entrance fee.