Another from an occasional series of London Churches. This one dates from the 12th century and is located in the grounds of St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London.
The original hospital was part of a priory, and this religious establishment was the genesis of the current church. As benefits a monastery in the 12th century, it included a building to minister to the sick. This was the foundation of St Bartolomew’s Hospital, Barts.
By the 15th century, the church was developed, including the tower which still stands today. In the 16th century, when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries, St Bartholomew’s was no exception. However he was persuaded to re-found the hospital. As a result, Bart’s is its own parish with St Bartholomew the Less as its parish church. The nearby church of St Bartholomew the Great is all that remains of the medieval priory.
At the end of the 18th century the building was failing into disrepair, resulting in parts requiring to be demolished. It was rebuilt, however it then suffered from dry rot and had to be rebuilt again in the early 19th century. This rebuilding, by Thomas Hardwick, it primarily what exist today. A light decoration with stained glass windows, also light in colour, is complimented with items from the older buildings.
Hardwicks octagonal design gives the building a sense of intimacy. A small organ is located in a gallery opposite the high altar.
As befits its location as part of Barts Hospital, there are memorials to doctors, nurses and other notable persons from Barts around the walls.