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St Bartholomew-the-Less is an Anglican church in the City of Londonmarker. It is the official church of St Bartholomew's Hospitalmarker and is located within the hospital grounds.


The present church is the latest in a series of churches and chapels associated with the hospital over the past 800 years. Its earliest predecessor, known as the Chapel of the Holy Cross, was founded nearby in 1123 before moving to the present site in 1184. At the time of the Reformation it became the parish church of the hospital and was given its present name. Its suffix, "the less", was given to distinguish it from its much larger neighbour, St Bartholomew-the-Greatmarker.

The church's tower and west end are 15th century, with two of its three bells dating from 1380 and 1420. They reside within an original medieval bell frame, believed to be the oldest in the City of London. George Dance the Younger created a new octagonal interior in 1793 within the shell of the medieval church. The body of the church was completely rebuilt by Thomas Hardwick in 1825, with Dance's plan being retained. The church suffered some bomb damage during the London Blitz of World War II but this was repaired and the church reopened by 1951.

St Bartholomew's interior is small but surprisingly light and airy, chiefly due to Dance's addition of high windows in the church's lunettes. Its form is that of an octagonal Gothic vault fitted into a square by the means of adding open triangular chapels in the corners. The plastered roof is an iron construction, installed by Hardwick after the original timbers rotted.

The church was designated a Grade II* listed building on 4 January 1950.

Notable people associated with the church

Interior of St Bartholomew-the-Less


  1. "The City of London Churches" Betjeman,J Andover, Pikin, 1967 ISBN 0853721122
  2. "London:the City" Churches Pevsner,N/Bradley,S : New Haven, Yale, 1998 ISBN 0300096550
  3. "The Visitors Guide to the City of London Churches" Tucker,T: London, Friends of the City Churches, 2006 ISBN 0955394503
  4. "The Old Churches of London" Cobb,G: London, Batsford,1942
  5. accessed 24 January 2009

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