Speaking about Jesus Christ

The first of several churches dedicated to St Benedict (known as St Benet) is built on this site.

St Benet becomes the church of the College of Arms.

The Reredos, Altar and Altar rails are installed. They all remain in place today.

Leading architect and stage designer Inigo Jones is buried in the church.

The Great Fire of London destroys the church of St Benet.



There has been a church on this site, dedicated to St Benet (or Benedict), since the Twelfth Century.

Shakespeare refers to it in Twelfth Night: Feste, the Clown asking Duke Orsino to add a third to the two coins he is offering reminds him: “...the bells of St Bennet, sir, may put you in mind ­– one, two, three.”

In the Sixteenth Century, because the watergate of Baynard’s Castle was close by, both Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey may have received the last rites at St Benet on their way to execution at the Tower. The River Thames was, of course, an important thoroughfare at the time and the unlucky women could have completed their journey by boat.


Since 1555, St Benet has been the church of the College of Arms, whose headquarters are across the road on Queen Victoria Street. The College grants heraldic arms to those deemed worthy to bear them.

In 1652, Inigo Jones, the architect and inventor of theatrical masques, most famous for designing the Banqueting House in Whitehall, was buried in St Benet's, alongside his father and mother.