'Secret' staircase to Whispering Gallery opens as two external galleries undergo maintenance
09 September 2017
The two galleries which offer views over London from St Paul’s Cathedral will close for the last 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|
|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 third time on Monday 11 September. 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.
During the closure, visitors will still be able to see a three-minute virtual tour of the galleries on the multimedia guides, which are included within the price of admission.
Details of works are subject to change so please check for any further information before your visit.