St Olave is the smallest intact medieval church in the City, first recorded in the late C12th. Until the early C20th the churchyard had many tombs set in grass but prior to 1920 it was laid out as a garden with a path from the gateway to the south door of the church, with some gravestones set against the walls. The entrance is via a gateway of 1658 that has a pediment with carved skull and crossbones.
A stone church replaced the earlier building in the C13th, and the current building is primarily C15th although it was rebuilt in 1951-4. It has strong associations with the nearby Navy Office and Corporation of Trinity House. Samuel Pepys, who was buried here, called it 'Our own Church'. There was a churchyard by 1345 and well-preserved burial registers from 1563 onwards include a record of Mother Goose buried on 14 September 1586. Charles Dickens referred to it as 'My best beloved churchyard, the churchyard of St Ghastly Grim' in The Uncommercial Traveller.
Visitor FacilitiesThe site is open Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm.
- Access & Directions
Access Contact DetailsThe site is open Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm.
DirectionsTube: Tower Hill (District, Circle). Rail: Fenchurch Street
- Early 20th Century
London Parks and Gardens Trust