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.
The Great Model
Oak, plaster and lime wood
Designed by Christopher Wren
Made by William Cleere
Made to scale of 1:25, this model represents the design of great magnificence and beauty, according to which, Charles II appointed Wren, by warrant
of 12th November 1673, and directed him to build the cathedral. It was intended to be a permanent record, in case of accident to the architect, and
to show, more clearly than sets of drawings could do, how everything fitted together.
It was designed to be walked through at eye-level to suggest the experience of the real interior. The model was made from full-size drawings scaled
up by Wren and his assistant Edward Woodroffe, working at a large table in the Cathedral convocation house. For most of its life it has been kept
in the cathedral.
The model was completed by August 1674 at a cost of about £600, the cost of a good London house. Originally it was painted "stone colours" inside
and out, with grey for the lead of the domes, gilded details and fictive relief. Wren made other designs for St Paul's both before and after the
Great Model, all the time he was learning about the process of designing a cathedral and about the specific requirements of the one we have today.
Although it shares broadly the same appearance as the finished building, there are significant differences between this presentation model and the
cathedral as built. Some of the most notable changes were: the extension of the quire, changes to the West front and the introduction of the bell
towers in place of a bell cupola half way down the nave.