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Stepping into 2,000 years of history.
The story of St Bride's is woven into the fabric of the City of London.
The dawn of our history: a Roman house near Lud Gate.
Brigid: saintly teenager & default bishop
Photo Credit: Peter Dazeley
An accident of medieval geography brings importance
Photo Credit: Paul Freeman
Wynkyn de Worde came to St Bride's and it was time to start the presses
Plague pits, nosegays, brokers of the dead & a torrent of flame.
'Will you rebuild our church, Mr Wren?'
The rise and rise of the Fourth Estate
The night St Bride's luck ran out
Wynkyn de Worde's revolution ends in tears
St Bride's: a church for the 21st century
THE CHURCH of St Bride's is justly world famous. To enter its doors is to step into 2,000 years of history, which had begun with the Romans some six centuries before the name of St Bride, daughter of an Irish prince, even emerged from legend to become associated forever with the site.
The story of St Bride's is inextricably woven into the history of the City of London. By the time the Great Fire of 1666 left the church in ruins, a succession of churches had existed on the site for about a millennium, and the area had already assumed its unique role in the emergence of English printing. It took nine years for St Bride's to re-appear from the ashes under the inspired direction of Christopher Wren, but for the next two-and-a-half centuries it was in the shadow of the church's unmistakeable wedding-cake spire that the rise of the British newspaper industry into the immensely-powerful Fourth Estate took place.
Then, in 1940, St Bride's fell victim once again to flames as German incendiary bombs reduced Wren's architectural jewel to a roofless shell. This time 17 years elapsed before rebuilding was completed, although a series of important excavations in 1953 amid the skeletal ruins, led by the medieval archaeologist Professor W. F. Grimes, came up with extraordinary results, uncovering the foundations of all six previous churches on the site.
Not only the nation, but the Christian world as a whole, was fascinated by the discovery.