Early history[ edit ] The church of St Michael was in existence by The patronage was in the possession of the Abbot and convent of Evesham until , when it was settled on the Drapers Company. A new tower was built in , possibly after a fire. John Stow described the church as "fair and beautiful, but since the surrender of their lands to Edward VI, greatly blemished by the building of four tenements on the north side thereof, in the place of a green church-yard".
On the south side of the church was a churchyard with what Stow calls a "proper cloister", with lodgings for choristers, and a pulpit cross, at which sermons were preached. These were maintained by Sir John Rudstone, after whose death in the choir was dissolved and the cross fell into decay.
They fell unconscious, but later discovered scratch marks in the masonry. For years afterwards these were pointed out as the 'Devil's clawmarks'. There was an organ at the west end, and a reredos with paintings of Moses and Aaron at the east.
The walls, George Godwin noted, did not form right-angles, indicating the re-use of the medieval foundations. In contrast to the main body of the church, it was built in a Gothic style, in imitation of that of Magdalen College, Oxford. The tower was eventually completed in  with the aid of a grant from the Commission for Building Fifty New Churches , the upper stages being to the designs of its surveyor, Nicholas Hawksmoor.
In the repairs, the south aisle windows and the east window were made circular, as well as the addition of a new pulpit, desk, altar rail, east window glass, and 12 new brass branches. Philip's tympanum sculpture St Michael disputing with Satan Scott demolished a house that had stood against the tower, replacing it with an elaborate porch, built in the "Franco-Italian Gothic" style — , facing Cornhill. New side windows were created in the chancel, and an elaborate stone reredos, incorporating the paintings of Moses and Aaron by artist Robert Streater  from its predecessor, was constructed in an Italian Gothic style.
A contemporary account of the work explained that this was appropriate since "the classical feeling which pervades the Italian school of Gothic art enabled the architect to bring the classical features of the building into harmony with the Gothic treatment which our present sympathies demand". And he inserts tracery in all the round-headed windows, and the great ugly stable-like circles of the clerestory become roses under his plastic hand.
Its splays were enriched with inlaid and carved marble, with four heads in high relief enclosed in medallions. The other windows contained a series of stained glass images illustrating the life of Christ, with the crucifixion at the west end. Williams built a three bay cloister-like passage, with plaster vaults, on the south side of the building, and in the body of the church added richly painted decoration to Wren's columns and capitals.
In what the Building News described as a "startling novelty" a circular opening was cut in the vault of each aisle bay and filled with stained glass, and skylights installed above.
The church escaped serious damage in the Second World War and was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January