With the exception of St. John's Chapel in the Keep of the Tower, St. Bartholomew's-the-Great is the oldest church in London. It is situated in Smithfield, near St. Bartholomew's Hospital, both buildings owing their existence to Rahere who flourished early in the twelfth century The tomb of this favourite of Henry I. is seen near the altar (to the left) - a recumbent figure beneath a rich canopy. The present church consists mainly of the choir, the north and south transepts, and one bay of the nave, of the old building, thoroughly restored. For many years until 1886 the Lady Chapel had been turned into a fringe factory, and the north transept was occupied by a blacksmith's forge but now all that is left of Rahere's church has reverted to its original uses.
source: The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896