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'Secret' staircase to Whispering Gallery opens as two external galleries undergo maintenance

The two galleries which offer views over London from St Paul’s Cathedral will close for the second of three periods in 2017 to allow vital maintenance work to take place.

But in the time the galleries are closed visitors will be able to reach the famous Whispering Gallery inside the Cathedral via a little-used staircase.

Stone and Golden Gallery closures
- Monday 27 February - Friday 31 March 
- Monday 24 April - 1 June
- Monday 11 September - Friday 10 November
Current status
Whispering Gallery: OPEN
Stone Gallery OPEN (WITH LIMITED ACCESS)
Golden Gallery OPEN
Check daily opening times

Deterioration to the surface of the Stone Gallery - that circles the lower part of the dome - has led to water damage inside the Cathedral, significantly to the epic dome paintings of Sir James Thornhill which depict the life of Saint Paul. 

Work on the Stone Gallery will begin for the second time on Monday 24 April. As access to the higher Golden Gallery requires access via the Stone Gallery, this will be closed too.

We recognise temporary closures of any Cathedral space for maintenance can cause disappointment, but by carrying out this work we hope to further preserve Wren's iconic masterpiece and ensure visitors will be able to enjoy unrivalled views over London once again and for many years to come.

The internal Whispering Gallery will remain open throughout the works and as well as access via the main staircase, visitors will also have the opportunity to walk to the Gallery via an additional, little used route. This 'secret staircase' offers sight of some of the flying buttresses Wren had designed to be kept hidden and views into the roof space above the quire in which WW2 bomb damage and repairs are still visible.

This alternate route is via steep and narrow stairs and may not be suitable for all visitors.

All visitors will still be able to view the 270° virtual tour of the external Galleries and their views which plays in the Oculus film experience in the Cathedral crypt.

Details of works are subject to change so please check for any further information before your visit.