St James Garlickhythe - Garlick Hill, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.667 W 000° 05.637
30U E 701648 N 5710669
Quick Description: St James Garlickhythe is a Wren designed church in the City of London. Opened in 1682, the church is to be rumoured to house the ghost of "Jimmy Garlick" whose mummified remains were found there.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/14/2015 7:47:28 AM
Waymark Code: WMNPJB
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member neoc1
Views: 0

Long Description:

The Looking for Ghosts blog tells us:

Now that we were out of the office and back on the ghost trail, Looking For Ghosts returned to the City to visit a location we had heard some fairly creepy stories about; St James Garlickhythe.

This picturesque church, nicknamed “Wren’s Lantern”, is tucked away on Garlick Hill by Upper Thames Street and was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren in 1683 after the original building was destroyed by the great fire. Thinking about it, the Great Fire of London was probably the best thing that ever happened to Christopher Wren, whose office rebuilt no fewer than 50 parish churches after the tragedy. Wonder how much he got for all of that? Quite a lot, we’re willing to wager. Not that we’re suggesting that it was in his best interests to start the fire in the first place or anything. It just seems pretty convenient.

Anyway, the church itself hides a gruesome tale – quite literally. In 1855, the mummified remains of a mystery gentleman, affectionately nicknamed Jimmy Garlick,  were found in the vaults of the church and were put on public display in a glass cabinet by the altar. Nothing unusual about this; it is only natural that upon discovering a corpse you want to share it with as many people as possible.
Recent research has revealed the mummy is likely to date back to the 17th Century and could be one of the early Mayors of London, who were often buried here.

Several things have disturbed Jimmy’s rest over the years, including the church being hit by a bomb during the Blitz. After such events his spirit is often seen and heard on the site, possibly with his arms outsretched in front of him, making a low groaning sound as he walks. We just don’t know.

Many believe that the ghost of Jimmy Garlick is also responsible for items being moved around or mysteriously vanishing. Not surprised he’s so peeved; mummies are known to get easily wound up. Sorry.

Despite watching The Mummy Returns 17 times in preparation for our visit, the Looking For Ghosts team failed to spot Jimmy or his remains which have, sadly, been moved into the tower and out of public view.

The Mysterious Britain website also tells us:

St James's Church Garlickhythe is an ancient church that was destroyed during the Great Fire of London of September 1666 and rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren (opening on 10 December 1682, though the tower was not finished until 1717). In 1855 an embalmed mummy, known as Jimmy Garlick (Garlickhythe) was discovered in the vaults and for many years was on public display in a glass case, though I am unsure if this is still the situation. After World War II, there were claims that Jimmy Garlick had started to haunt.

First mentioned in a will dating from the 12th century, St James’s Church probably dates back to the Saxon era. Dedicated to the St James who was martyred in Spain in 44AD, the church was part of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella where the Saints body remained hidden for 800 years.

The name Garlichythe refers to it being close to a very old and important hythe (a Saxon term for landing place) on the Thames, where Garlic (and wine) was usually delivered and then sold on Garlic Hill.

St James Church is closely associated with eleven Livery Companies (out of the 104 total), these being the Skinners, Vintners, Dyers, Painter-Stainers, Joiners and Ceilers, Horners, Needlemakers, Glass Sellers and Looking Glass Makers, Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers and the Fanmakers. It is also associated with on of the three historic companies without livery, the Parish Clerks.

Jimmy Garlick
Found in 1855, this mummy was originally thought, after examination by the British Museum, to be that of an adolescent child from the 18th Century. However, new light was shed his origins by the Discovery Channel documentary called ‘Mummy Autopsy’ in 2004. Their investigation showed that Jimmy was fairly old at time of death, suffering from decaying teeth and osteo-arthritis. Carbon dating places his death within the 160 year period between 1641 and 1801.

St James Church was nearly hit by a German Zeppelin’s bomb during World War I, after which a Bomb Sermon was introduced to give thanks. In May 1941 the church was not so lucky and a 500lb German bomb came through the roof during an air raid and embedded itself in the south aisle. The bomb did not explode.

It was suggested that perhaps this disturbed Jimmy who’s apparition (or walking mummy, depending who’s version you read) was said to be seen after the war. He has also been blamed for unusual noises in the Church and for moving items around.

Public access?:
Church needs to be entered.

Visting hours:
Understand that the church is open on Thursdays.

Website about the location and/or story: [Web Link]

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