Saint Bartholomew the Great is one of London's oldest churches. It was founded in 1123 as an Augustinian Priory and has been in continuous use as a place of worship since at least 1143. It is an active Anglican/Episcopal Church in that part of London known as the City.

The Smithfield area, which includes St Bartholomew's Hospital and Smithfield Market, is popular because of the large number of restaurants, bars and pubs both north and south of the Market. At the heart of it all is a church built when Henry I, son of William the Conqueror, was King of England. It survived the Great Fire of 1666 and the bombs dropped in Zeppelin raids in World War I and during the Blitz in World War II.

Today the Church has a reputation not only for wonderful architecture, but also for traditional formal worship, marvellous music and intelligent preaching. It has also appeared in a series of award-winning films including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, The End of the Affair, Amazing Grace, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and The Other Boleyn Girl. It has also appeared in a number of television programmes including Madame Bovary, The Real Sherlock Holmes, Spooks, and The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special.

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