St Olave Hart Street

The first church of St Olave Hart Street was built after the death of the Viking King Olaf of Norway and dedicated in his memory. Olaf helped Ethelred II (The unready) in the Viking/Saxon wars against the invading Viking Danes at the battle of London Bridge in 1014. The church was rebuilt during the 13th […]

The first church of St Olave Hart Street was built after the death of the Viking King Olaf of Norway and dedicated in his memory.

Olaf helped Ethelred II (The unready) in the Viking/Saxon wars against the invading Viking Danes at the battle of London Bridge in 1014.

The church was rebuilt during the 13th and 15th century, but still retains a 13th century crypt with a Norman vaulted chamber.

Samuel Pepys is buried there, as is ‘Mother Goose’ who died in 1586, and Mary Ramsay, who is alleged to have brought the Great Plague to London in 1664.

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, although was gutted in 1941 during the London Blitz.

The Norwegian connection was reinforced during the Second World War when King Haakon VII of Norway worshiped there while in exile. Haakon restored the church in 1954, where he returned to preside over the re-dedication ceremony, during which he laid a stone from Trondheim Cathedral in front of the sanctuary.

Open Hours

Access varies. Please visit : http://www.sanctuaryinthecity.net/st-olaves.html

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