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
Education is a core part of the Cathedral's work, delivered through a variety of events by St Paul's Forum, St Paul's Institute and the
Schools & Families department.
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.
Francis Cranmer Penrose (1817-1903) was an architect, classical scholar, founder of the British School in
Athens, astronomer, and Surveyor to the Fabric of St Paul's Cathedral for 45 years during the second half of the nineteenth century.
The Cathedral holds around 380 architectural drawings by Penrose and his team of designers and draughtsmen, and these drawings have
been catalogued with the assistance of a grant from the Delmas Foundation.
The drawings held in the Architectural Archive were
created by Penrose in the course of his long tenure at the Cathedral and mark a period of immense change to the decorative embellishment of the
interior. These changes were informed by the collective mid-Victorian vision of the cathedral clergy, and they provide a unique record of both
the building in the late nineteenth century, and the ingenuity and inventiveness of the Surveyor himself.
The catalogue of his drawings provides an integrated set of records concerning his work on the building and will be an important resource for
research into the history of the Cathedral and the processes of architectural design, commission and interpretation. The Cathedral also holds
transcripts of Penrose's Annual Reports to Dean and Chapter (the originals are held at Guildhall Library), and a number of objects and models
designed by Penrose.
His work included the replacement of the crypt floor with a scheme of mosaic decoration, the extension and re-arrangement of the choir, and the
introduction of stained glass into the eastern arm of the cathedral. These works did not just change the appearance of the building, they were
part of a complete re-articulation of the liturgical space and the experience of worship in St Paul's. Whilst some of Penrose's schemes were
never approved by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's, others, particularly the re-ordering of the choir, have given the cathedral some of its
most famous interior vistas; in particular, the uninterrupted view from the west end of the triforium to the east. In addition, Penrose was
responsible for the exterior landscaping project of the 1870s, which led to the discovery of the remains of the pre-fire St Paul's