The previous church to stand on this site was built in 1409. One of the main benefactors was Dick Whittington, a former Mayor of London, who lived next door and was buried at the church.
The Great Fire of London destroyed the original church and Wren was commissioned to design its replacement, being one of his latest churches in 1717.
The word 'Royal' in the name has no connection with royalty, but comes from the fact that the wine merchants who once populated this area of London did a lot of trade with the vineyards of La Réole in Bordeaux.
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