Address: St Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD


Time: From 8.30am Mon to Sat for sightseeing

Time Information:

Phone: 0207 246 8350

Entry Price: £18.00 for sightseeing


300m from City Thameslink

100m from St Pauls

St Paul’s Cathedral sits on Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London and for a long time was the tallest building in the capital. The present building is actually the fifth cathedral on the site since Mellitus built the Saxon cathedral in 604.

This was destroyed in 886 and when the rebuilt second church burnt down in 962 its replacement was built in stone. Another fire in 1087 saw the Normans build a fourth which took two hundred years to complete and this has become known as ‘Old St Paul’s’. As with much of the City at the time, the Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed this great building.

The irony of the fire was that it gave a cramped London the opportunity to redesign and St Paul’s was no exception. In came architect Sir Christopher Wren who also redesigned around fifty churches in London after the fire. His fourth design of St Paul’s gained the Royal Warrant and a model of the unsuccessful third suggestion is on display today.

Wren’s ‘New St Paul’s’ was built out of Portland stone and finished in 1710, although the Quire was opened for worship in 1697. The first memorial erected was of prison reformer John Howard in 1790 and since then it has been host to a number of national events and holds a number of memorials.

It has held the funerals of Lord Nelson in 1806, the Duke of Wellington in 1852 and Sir Winston Churchill in 1965 of which all brought London to a standstill. In 1897 Queen Victoria held her Diamond Jubilee celebrations with Queen Elizabeth II holding her Silver and Golden Jubilees as well as her 80th birthday celebration at the Cathedral.

In modern times its perhaps best known for holding the wedding ceremony of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981.

For tourists, this is often ticked off as one of the best London sites.

Click on the pics below for an enlarged view and use the arrow towards the right edge of each pic to go on to the next.