Welcome to the Saint Pancras Old Church History Project Website


St Pancras Old Church has been a site of Christian worship since the 4th century. It is thought that this church is on a site that has offered worship for more than 1700 years. Fragments of Roman material can still be seen here and there in the fabric of the current building. The monuments and reuse of stone chart the history of the church’s development over time. Spanning eight centuries since Fulcherius in the late 12th century the incumbents stretch down to the present day, Fr James Elston becoming the Team Vicar in 2012.

Our project aims to recover some of this 1600 years of history through archival and scholarly research, as well as building on the collective memory of a thousand years of parishioners and visitors to St Pancras. We hope that some of you reading this blog might have your own memories or family history to contribute, and we welcome stories, photos and whatever else you might have to share.

4 responses to “Welcome

  1. My understanding is that this site specifically inspired Blake to write his poem Jerusalem. The myth is that when Jesus was a youth and before his ministry began he travelled out from Alexandria with his Uncle Joseph, who was a metal trader. Two places in England they went to were firstly Glastonbury in Somerset that still boasts Joseph’s thorn and where tin was traded from the Mendips and secondly London. The metal trading wharves in London were on the Thames where Blackfriars is now. Next to these wharves was the river Fleet. At the highest navigable point up the Fleet was St Pancras where there was a pre-existing spiritual site that Jesus, being interested in these things visited.
    Blake, who lived close by in London for most of his life, knew of this myth and created his most famous poem around it, also creating what has been called the second English National Anthem.
    There are many confirmations of this in the imagery in the poem, most notably the “ dark satanic mills” which refer to all the grain mills around the site when Blake was alive, situated on Granary St and Granary Square amongst others. Blake was also an admirer and collaborator with Mary Wolstoncraft, illustrating some of her books.
    If you want to raise money to rebuild the church it would seem sensible to make the most of the story which could have a lot of resonance across the world.

  2. Keith Hawkins

    Firstly – I was pleased to note that, on this week’s University Challenge, there was a round of questions on St Pancras Churchyard.
    Secondly – I am born and bred in Liverpool, but have family history associated with St Pancras Old Church and would like to share some of the research I have made into the life of my Great Great Grandmother Sarah Hawkins nee Austing: Sarah Austing was born in St Pancras on 11th September 1809 and was baptised in St Pancras Old Church some six weeks later on 22 October. She was the daughter of William and Hannah Austing and she had two brothers – William and John. Her mother Hannah died in 1836 and her funeral took place at St Pancras Parish Chapel on 3 July that year. The following year, on 16 December at a joint wedding at St Pancras Parish Chapel, Sarah married Francis Hawkins, and her father William married his second wife Sarah Elizabeth Hardy.
    In 1841Francis Hawkins was working as a Mathematical Instrument Maker and he and Sarah were living in Smith Street, St Pancras with their two sons Francis and Thomas.
    In 1851 the family had moved to 20 Wilstead Street, St Pancras, Francis junior was now living with his grandparents, but Thomas remained, together with a daughter, Emma and my Great Grandfather Frederick.
    In 1861 the family had relocated again and were now in Middlesex Street, St Pancras. Francis was now listed in the census as a Shop Owner. Frederick was now the only child still residing with Frederick and Sarah and at the age of 17, was working as a Pork Butcher.
    Francis died in St Pancras in 1877 and in 1881 Sarah was on her own, now living at 10 Popham Street in Islington and was working as a Laundress.
    Having outlived her husband and her four children, Sarah died in 1890 at the age of 80 in the St Pancras Workhouse and her funeral was held at St Pancras Parish Chapel.

    My wife, Brenda and I had the pleasure of visiting St Pancras Old Church last month and we were made very welcome and found out about several links to Liverpool which were a happy coincidence.

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