From 1230 the transepts and crossing were added along with a great nave. The transepts survive to this day but most of the nave was lost during the dissolution in the 16th century. After the dissolution the priory was converted into a parish church for the local area. Although the great nave was lost and the transepts were exposed and degraded into a ruinous state many of the monastic buildings were not destroyed such as the lady chapel (which was turned into a private house) and much of the cloisters (of which a fragment still survives). The south end of the nave was sold to construct a private house which incorporated part of the 13th century south door in the gateway of St Bartholomew-the-Great. The area between the church and the gateway was partly used as a burial ground but was also sold for development. The current tower was added in 1638 between the north transept and the one remaining bay of the great nave as a grander entrance to the building.
The church was restored several times during the Victorian era first in 1860 and secondly in 1886 by the architect Aston Web (who would go on to design the iconic but dull facade of Buckingham palace in 1913). Both restorations were relativity sympathetic to the church -unlike many in the city during this time. Inside the most obvious outcome of the works was the restoration of the apse which had been dissected with a flat wall at some point probably in the seventeenth or eighteenth century. The wall was removed and the original curve reinstated. Thus the restoration did make a positive contribution to the building as (I am sure most would agree) the east end is much more pleasant after the restoration. The stark contrast in appearance before and after the restoration can be seen in the two pictures above©. An external addition to the building was a new entrance porch at the base of the tower which was by Aston during his restoration.
This building is of person importance to me. It was visiting this building which first gave me the inspiration to write this blog, my first post was of the gatehouse which leads into the church. This is a post I have wanted to write for some time but I hadn't got round to before as I have kept finding new fragments of the medieval city which interest me (not to say there are no more fragments of medieval London to discover, on the contrary). Before visiting the church I knew little of the medieval legacy of the city which I have cataloged in this blog, it was a genuine moment of enlightenment. Before my visit I assumed like many others that there was nothing left of the medieval city after the fire, bombing and demolition of the last 400 years or so. I hope this blog has inspired others to investigate and research the rich legacy of medieval buildings in London.