In common with many other medieval English towns and cities, London contained a large number of churches in a relatively small area, and as in many other locations, many of these churches hosted hermits and anchorites at various times. However, what has not often been noted is that many of these anchorholds and hermitages were located on or near the enclosing city wall or its gates and that the period during which there was an anchoritic presence somewhere on the boundary of the City of London covered almost 350 years. It can therefore be argued that as well as a ring of stone, throughout the medieval period there was also a ring of prayer surrounding the city and that even those who had not taken formal vows were thus part of an enclosed community.


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pp. 44-55
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