St. Bride's is built on the site of a Roman house, close by the River Fleet, a tributary of the Thames which rises from two springs on Hampstead Heath.
The district between Fleet Street and the Thames is known as Bridewell from the well of St. Bride. There has been a church dedicated to St. Bride on the site for over 1,500 years. The first stone church was built in the 6th century and there have been eight altogether. After the Norman Conquest it became an important church and King John held a parliament there in 1210.
The Great Fire of London began on Sunday, 2 September 1666. St. Bride's was completely destroyed. In 1671 the churchwardens took Christopher Wren to the Globe Tavern, hoping to convince him to rebuild the church. St. Bride's re-opened in time for the Christmas services of 1674 but the tower was not completed until 1703.
On Sunday, 29 December 1940 a German fire bomb hit St. Bride's causing extensive damage to the nave which was restored by Godfrey Allen. The Queen attended the re-dedication on 19 December 1957.
Today St. Bride's, and its small churchyard, is a quiet oasis in a busy city. It is completely surrounded by tall buildings and, therefore difficult to photograph. However the Wren tower, which rises to 226 feet, is a notable landmark on the London skyline.
St. Bride's is associated with printing. William Caxton studied printing in Cologne. In 1476 he installed a press by Westminster Abbey. His apprentice, Wynkyn de Worde, installed the first movable type printing press in London at St. Bride's.
The first American child born to parents from England was baptised Virginia Dare on 18 August 1585. Her parents were married in St. Bride's.
Edward Winslow, a printer from St. Bride's, was one of the Pilgrim Fathers and became Governor of Plymouth, Massachusetts.