St Olave, Silver Street

St Olave, Silver Street was an ancient saxon church on the south side of Silver Street in the Aldersgate Ward in the City of London.

It was founded by the famous Saxon King, Ethelred II (The unready) during a period of Viking sieges and great battles. Ethelred dedicated the church to his Viking Christian ally, Olaf II of Norway (995 – 1030) who aided Ethelred in retaking England (and London) from Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark who had previously defeated Ethelred.

The church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and never rebuilt.

The first reference to the church, in the twelfth century, refers to it as “St Olave de Mukewellestrate” from its proximity to Monkwell Street.

Silver Street itself was destroyed in the Blitz and erased completely by post-war development and traffic planning.

Today, all that remains are a few foundation reminders and a late 17th Century tablet of this historic church from one of the bloodiest periods in London’s history.

One tablet (Skull and Crossbones) says:

THIS WAS THE PARISH CHVRCH / OF ST OLAVE SILVER STREET / DESTROYD BY THE DREADFVLL / FIRE IN THE YEAR 1666

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