The first church on the site was built in medieval times, being recorded in the 12th century. It was rebuilt in the 14th century and again in 1532, whence the present church dates. It is constructed in the Perpendicular style with its entrance located at the base of its off-centre tower. The interior is divided into six bays, with a variety of original fittings that has fortunately survived Victorian renovation. It used to have one of London's few surviving large stained glass windows, installed in the 17th century, but this was destroyed in an IRA bomb attack in 1992.
The church's curious name derives from the shaft of the maypole that was traditionally set up each year opposite the church. The custom continued until 1517, when student riots put an end to it, but the maypole itself survived until 1547 when a Puritan mob seized and destroyed it as a "pagan idol".