St Martin Ongar church, situated in Martin Lane was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Only the bell tower, complete with the original bell, has survived in the rectory of St Clements. "You owe me five farthings" relates to the moneylenders who traded nearby.
The Great Fire of London - destruction of the London Churches
Many of the old London churches were destroyed in the Great Fire of London. The fire started in Pudding Lane in the house and shop of Thomas Farynor who was baker to King Charles II. The King was aware of the risk of fire in Baker's shops and ensured that this task was conducted away from the palaces. In the London of 1666 the medieval houses were half timbered, with pitch, and most had thatched roofs - the recipe for disaster in terms of fire risks! The old St Paul's cathedral was destroyed in the fire together with 87 churches. A total of 13,200 houses were also destroyed but amazingly only 6 were known to have died! Sir Christopher Wren, the great architect, was tasked with the reconstruction of London and built 49 new churches together with the great cathedral of St. Paul's over a period of 35 years! The city was not subject to re-planning and houses were replaced on exactly the sites of the buildings which were destroyed.