St Paul’s Cathedral has been here for over 1,400 years. It has been built and rebuilt five times, and always its main purpose has been as a
place of worship and prayer.
St Paul's, with its world-famous dome, is an iconic feature of the London skyline. Step inside and you can enjoy the Cathedral's awe-inspiring
interior, and uncover fascinating stories about its history.
Learning & Faith
Lifelong learning is a core part of the our work, delivered through a variety of events by St Paul's Institute, and the
Cathedral's Adult Learning and Schools & Family Learning departments.
History & Collections
For more than 1,400 years, a Cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood at the highest point in the City. The present Cathedral is the
masterpiece of Britain's most famous architect Sir Christopher Wren.
Behind the scenes, the cost of caring for St Paul's and continuing to deliver our central ministry and work is enormous and the generosity of
our supporters is critical.
Widely considered to be one of the world’s most beautiful buildings and a powerful symbol of the splendour of London, St Paul’s Cathedral is a
breathtaking events venue.
Many notable Brits are buried in the crypt of St Paul's, but the two that really catch the eye are to two men known as military heroes -
Horatio Nelson and Arthur Wellesley, the 'Iron Duke' of Wellington.
Nelson had been interred at St Paul's for ten years before Wellington would see the battle that would secure his name in history - defeat over
Napoleon on the Belgian fields at Waterloo.
Unlike Nelson, who died in battle, Wellington went on to live a long life - in which he was also Prime Minister - dying at the age of 83. But the
passing of the years had not diminished the people's respect for him and, like Nelson, he was afforded a funeral at St Paul's.
The service was a lavish affair. Tens-of-thousands lined the streets and stands were erected in the Cathedral that allowed it to fit
13,000 people. The then Dean, Henry Milman, described the sound of the huge congregation reciting the Lord's Prayer as 'like the roar of many
waters', a phrase taken from the Book of Revelation.
After the service he was lowered into the crypt and buried in a sarcophagus made of luxulyanite granite, just yards from Nelson. His tomb is
guarded by four lions - sleeping as there is no need to fight any longer.
Later, a large monument was erected on the Cathedral floor, at the bottom of which Wellington is shown lying in death and at the top of which
he is seen riding his trusty steed, Copenhagen.
The powerful representation of the Iron Duke sitting astride Copenhagen can be seen on the monument to Wellington in the north nave of
St Paul's. But Copenhagen was not originally destined for battle.
Bred from a line of impressive racehorses, Copenhagen took to the track at the age of two, but despite crossing the line first on a
couple of occasions, was not seen as an impressive racer.
So at four-years-old he was retired from racing and shipped to Portugal and then Spain during the Peninsular Wars, soon finding his way
to the Duke.
Although somewhat lacking as a racehorse, Copenhagen was to emerge as a superb battle horse.
Favoured by Wellington in a number of battles, Copenhagen was the obvious choice for the Duke at the Battle of Waterloo - some reports
say he was ridden continuously for 17 hours.
With such outstanding service, after the war was over Copenhagen was given a fine retirement, living out his years at the Duke’s
country estate, Stratfield Saye.
He was said to like being noticed and would eat his apples 'with all possible grace'.
He died in 1836, aged 28 and received a funeral with full military honours. He is buried under an oak tree at Stratfield Saye.