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Ennever & Enever family history & ancestry. Click here to return to the home page WJ Ennever (1869-1947). From the portrait by J Seymour R.A., exhibited in the Royal Academy.

Parish Church, St Olave Hart Street, Hart Street, City of London

Parish Church, St Olave Hart Street, Hart Street, City of London


Tree: 1. Essex Ennevers

The church is one of the smallest in the City and is one of only a handful of medieval City churches that escaped the Great Fire of London in 1666. It is dedicated to the patron saint of Norway, King Olaf II of Norway, who fought alongside the Anglo-Saxon King Ethelred the Unready against the Danes in the Battle of London Bridge in 1014. He was canonised after his death and the church of St Olave's was built apparently on the site of the battle. The Norwegian connection was reinforced during the Second World War when King Haakon VII of Norway worshipped there while in exile.

The church is first recorded in the 13th century as St Olave-towards-the-Tower, a stone building replacing the earlier (presumably wooden) construction[1] . The present building dates from around 1450. It survived the Great Fire thanks to the efforts of Sir William Penn, the father of the more famous William Penn who founded Pennsylvania. However, it was gutted by German bombs in 1941 during the London Blitz[2]. and was restored in 1954, with King Haakon returning to preside over the rededication ceremony, during which he laid a stone from Trondheim Cathedral in front of the sanctuary.

St Olave's has a modest exterior in the Perpendicular Gothic style[3]with a somewhat squat square tower of stone and brick, the latter added in 1732. It is deservedly famous for the macabre 1658 entrance arch to the churchyard, which is decorated with grinning skulls[4]. The novelist Charles Dickens was so taken with this that he included the church in his Uncommon Traveller, renaming it "St Ghastly Grim".

The church was a favourite of the diarist Samuel Pepys, who worked in the nearby Navy Office and worshipped regularly at St Olave's. He referred to it affectionately in his diary as "our own church"[5] and both he and his wife are buried there, in the nave. John Betjeman described St Olaves with words to the effect that it was a country church set in the bustling setting of Seething Lane; a description with which many who know the church, will surely agree.

The interior of St Olave's only partially survived the wartime bombing; much of it dates from the restoration of the 1950s. It is nearly square, with three bays separated by columns of Purbeck limestone supporting pointed arches. The roof is a simple oak structure with bosses. Most of the church fittings are modern, but there are some significant survivals, such as the monument to Elizabeth Pepys[6] and the pulpit, said to be the work of Grinling Gibbons. Following the destruction of the organ in the blitz, the John Compton Organ Company built a new instrument in the West Gallery, fronted by a large wooden grille; this organ, and the Rectory behind, is ingeniously structured between church and tower.

Perhaps the oddest "person" said to be buried here is the "Pantomime character" Mother Goose. Church documents record her interment on September 14, 1586. A plaque on the outside commemorates the event. The churchyard is also said to contain the grave of one Mary Ramsay, popularly believed to be the woman who brought the Black Death to London in the 17th Century.[7]

The church tower contains 8 bells. These are rung by the University of London Society of Change Ringers. The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 04 January 1950.[8] St Olave's has retained long and historic links with Trinity House and the Clothworkers' Company.

Source: wikipedia

Latitude: 51.5030164, Longitude: -0.0979454


St Olave Hart Street, City of London
St Olave Hart Street, City of London
Courtesy of wikipedia


Matches 1 to 1 of 1

   Family (spouse)    Married    Family ID   Tree 
1 POTTON / HART  20 Sep 1864Parish Church, St Olave Hart Street, Hart Street, City of London F365 1. Essex Ennevers 
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