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Pictures of Southwark Cathedral

a Cathedral in the town of London, in the county of Greater London

About Southwark Cathedral

This is believed to be the oldest Gothic building in London, it stands on a spot where religious buildings have stood for over a thousand years. They began when a convent was founded here by St. Swithen, Bishop of Winchester 852-867, but the earliest record of church buildings came with the Doomsday Book of 1086. Later, the convent buildings became a monastery, this ceased in Henry VIII's Reformation, and following this a building was retained to become a parish church.

The cathedral is a truly magnificent structure with many historic church treasures, in 1623 Samuel Pepys wrote of its virtues, particularly "its fine monuments of great antiquity". Today the cathedral is noted for its historic memorials to Wenceslas Hollar, and to William Shakespeare, during the past century added to these have been a memorial to Sam Wanamaker (1919-1993), and one for the victims of the Marchioness Disaster - the pleasure boat that sank in the River Thames close to where the cathedral stands.

The cathedral nave is an addition from 1890, but this blends well with the older parts of the building. There are many fine roof bosses to be seen, magnificent stained glass, beautiful wood carvings, and fine tracery particularly in the Retro-Choir which is thought by many to be the loveliest part of the cathedral.

Southwark Cathedral is of exceptional beauty, it has an exquisite rich interior, and its exterior is of immense grace with just a small churchyard to one side. It is a stunning building to explore, and afterwards the churchyard makes a peaceful retreat in which to sit and ponder over the wonderful treasures you have seen.

The cathedral is situated on the south bank of the River Thames close to London Bridge. There is a restaurant in the Refectory and a shop for purchasing souvenirs.

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