St Laurence's Church

  • 21 Jan 2019
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The site of St Laurence's Church was outside the City walls, where the burnt-out shell of Sigley's Sweet Factory stands in what was then the Friar's burial ground. William de Beachamp, Earl of Warwick, was buried there in June, 1298 after much ecclesiastic argument and bad feeling, for the Cathedral. St Laurence's Church was destroyed at the Dissolution, and the graveyard converted into a skinyard. When Sigley's factory was erected in the mid-19th century many human remains were found, but only one coffin, and this of elaborate design, which was broken up for concrete.

The rule of the Friar's required that members be buried without coffins, and as the only person, not a member of the community known to be buried there was the Earl of Warwick, this would point to his grave.

Union Street was a continuation of St Laurence's Lane, and connected with High Street, a little distance north of Lich (Leech) Street. The lane was  later called Newdix Court, for the family of Newdicks, who were clothiers of great account in the reign of Elizabeth 1, had their house there, but in later days the house had gone and mean slum dwellings had been built on the site.