St. Margaret was a popular name for churches in medieval London, subsequently the distinctive title ‘Pattens’ was added, as they were made locally. Pattens are shoes (usually wooden) that are worn over normal shoes, they elevate the wearer several inches above the ground, saving normal shoes from mud and unsavoury conditions.
This is the fifth St. Margaret’s on the same site since the original was built in the 12th century. The present post-fire church was designed by Christopher Wren and built by Samuel Fulkes in Portland stone in the late 1680’s. The spire is the third highest in the city, it was completed in 1702 and stands 200 ft high. Internally, the church has several 17th century fittings, these include the only twin canopied church warden pews remaining in the city, one dated 1686.
St. Margaret Pattens became a Guild church (no longer a parish church) in 1954 under the City of London Guild churches act 1952. The church not only has a regular midweek congregation but is a meeting place for several organisations, these include Food Addicts and Alcaholics Anonymous. St. Margaret’s also has long associations with the Pattenmakers and Basketmakers Livery companies.