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.
William II Charter Parchment and wax seal About 1100 AD MS 25241/4
This royal charter is the earliest surviving item within the Cathedral Archives, dating from July 1099/1100. Written in Latin, it provides
confirmation from King William II to the canons of St Paul’s of their rights of jurisdiction over their property. The Cathedral had held land since
its foundation in 604AD and continued to own property until the 19th century. This included the estates of Tillingham in Essex, as well as
land to the north and east of the city of London in Stepney, Hackney and Clerkenwell. The ownership of this land provided essential income to fund
the clergy’s work both internally and throughout the diocese.
The Latin text is translated into English as follows:
William, King of the English, to the bishops, earls, thanes and sheriffs in whose counties the canons of St Paul’s hold lands, greetings. Know
that I have granted to the canons of St Paul’s the rights of sac and soc, within burgh htht’[[and without, on land and shore, and rights of toll
and theam and infangthief, and forfeiture in dispute and of military service and breach of the peace, within mass and without, as fully, in all
things, as ever they had better in the days of any king. And I forbid anyone to injure them in any way. So if my ministers, or any other, shall
have committed injustice to them, he shall make serious amends to me. Witnessed by Ranulf, Bishop of Durham. At Brockhurst on the eighth day of the
Apostles Peter and Paul.
The privileges granted by the King to the canons of St Paul’s meant that they had the right to impose a payment on the sale of passage of goods or
cattle on their lands, as well as the right to hold a court to judge accused of wrongfully possessing goods or cattle.
The Charter is held at the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), alongside many other items relating to the activities of the Dean and Chapter of St
Paul’s Cathedral. The records at LMA relate mostly to the constitution, administration, services, finances and fabric of the cathedral, the
Peculiar jurisdiction of the Dean and Chapter (including probate), and the estates of the Dean and Chapter and cathedral officials.
Marion Gibbs, Early Charters of the Cathedral Church of St Paul, London (Camden Society, 3rd series, vol. 58,1939)
PH Sawyer, Anglo-Saxon Charters: An Annotated List and Bibliography (Royal Historical Society, Guides and Handbooks no. 8, 1968)