Old St Paul’s Cathedral


Today, some gorgeous engravings of the exterior and interior of the old St Paul’s Cathedral, which burned down during the Great Fire in 1666. The engravings come from William Dugdale’s History of St Pauls (1658), and are by Wenceslas Hollar. The building known as Old St Paul’s was the fourth church in this location, and it was begun in 1087. The church was consecrated in 1240, but work continued on St Paul’s until 1314, when it became the third-longest church in Europe. By the sixteenth century, it was falling into disrepair, and with the dissolution of the monasteries, many buildings in the churchyard were sold as commercial properties, particularly bookshops. It was here where Shakespeare would probably have bought his paper, books, and quills, and where Londoners gathered to catch up on all the latest gossip and listen to public sermons. In 1561, the spire was destroyed by lightning, and was not replaced. The outdoor pulpit known as St Paul’s Cross can be seen here. Inigo Jones added the west front to the cathedral in the 1630s.


From the West



From the South



From the East



From the North



Rose Window






Lady Chapel






Chapter House and Choir



Monument to John Donne


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