Photos from St. Paul’s Cathedral

This Monday I had the chance to do something I don’t get to do very often and that is enjoy London as a tourist.  It’s easy when you live and work here to get bogged down with the traffic congestion and crowds and not make the most of the place.  So on MondaI went and spent half a day at St. Pauls Cathedral.  I have a few tours coming up to various cathedrals and whilst I know the others in London very well I felt I could learn more about St. Pauls.

St Pauls

St Pauls from Paternoster Square if I remember rightly.

There has been a cathedral on the site since around 600 AD but the first was destroyed in a fire shortly after the Norman invasion and then the second was also destroyed by fire in The Great Fire of London.  The cathedral we see today was built by Sir Christopher Wren and whilst everywhere around it was destroyed by fire-bombs in WW2, St. Pauls miraculously survived.

The Knave from above

The Knave from above

I will write a proper post on St. Pauls another day as I am currently out every day on tours but I wanted to share with you some incredible photos of this incredible building.  Sadly visitors aren’t allowed to take photos inside the building so here are one or two from more official sources.  Those who have also visited Westminster Abbey can see the huge difference in style and decoration but St. Pauls is still incredibly beautiful inside.

The_OBE_Chapel_in_the_crypt_of_St_Paul's

The OBE Chapel in the crypt of St Paul’s

I spent several hours bumping into tombs and statues of my heroes and one or two people I actually despise!  The legendary painter JMW Turner is remembered on one side of the knave whilst almost directly opposite him is General Gordon of Khartoum fame.  Down in the catacombs amongst others you find it hard to avoid coming across such monumental names as the Duke of Wellington and Lord Horatio Nelson or The Most Noble Lord Horatio Nelson, Viscount and Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk, Baron Nelson of the Nile and of Hilborough in the said County, Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Vice Admiral of the White Squadron of the Fleet, Commander in Chief of his Majesty’s Ships and Vessels in the Mediterranean, Duke of Bronté in the Kingdom of Sicily, Knight Grand Cross of the Sicilian Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit, Member of the Ottoman Order of the Crescent, Knight Grand Commander of the Order of St Joachim.   Or at least that is what is written on his tomb… I’m sure his titles were shortened for brevity.

St_Paul's_Engraving_by_Samuel_Wale_and_John_Gwynn_(1755)

St_Paul’s_Engraving_by_Samuel_Wale_and_John_Gwynn_(1755). The stairs to the roof go in between the lavish inner dome and the rather plain and creaky in appearance outer dome!

At 365 feet or 111 metres tall, it is several hundred steps up to the famous whispering gallery and even more to get up to the roof.  At several points on the climb I wondered if I might not make it and passed several people who looked if not to be abandoning the challenge then to at least be stopping for a long break.  The final hundred steps or so are up a slightly creaking narrow spiral iron staircase and it seemed obvious to us all that only the strength of the centuries old masonry was stopping us from make impressions of human pancakes on the ground far, far below.

St_Paul's_by_Thomas_Hosmer_Shepherd_(early_19th_century)

St_Paul’s_by_Thomas_Hosmer_Shepherd_(early_19th_century) The view from the river has entirely changed in the last 150 years but St Pauls is as majestic as ever.

The view on the top is incredible though.  I could see probably 30-50 miles in each direction depending on the elevation of the higher ground north and south of London.  Some great views of river and the City whereas Westminster in the west and the Docklands in the east were really just specs on the horizon.  I thought I would share a few photos here of the dramatic and ever changing skyline of London.

A view from the ceiling

A view from the ceiling down through the Dome. This isn’t even at the top of the Cathedral (nearly though). Those brown dots are chairs and if you look closely the coloured dots are people sitting on them. That’s how high the dome is!

London Skyline

Some of the prominent towers here are Tower 42 half omitted on the left, The Gherkin, The Cheesegrater and the Walkie-Talkie or Death Star. In the distance are the even taller buildings at Canary Wharf about 5-8 miles away.

River Thames Panorama

On the left The Shard, Europe’s tallest skyscraper. You can just make out Shakespeares globe to the left of the Millennium Bridge. Westminster is to the right, behind the London Eye.

London Panorama

London Panorama from the top of St. Pauls Cathedral

If you want to see more photos then please consider following me on Pinterest where I will be adding lots of photos from my various tours in London and around England as well as lots of other photos relating to my current and upcoming books.

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About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including a #1 seller, I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
This entry was posted in Cool Britannia, history, London, Photography, Travel, Ye Olde England Tours and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Photos from St. Paul’s Cathedral

  1. RachelW says:

    Beautiful pictures! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love visiting cathedrals like these. They’re so grand and make you feel so small.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy Reese says:

    So impressive. That’s quite a grand skyline and what a view!

    Liked by 1 person

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