Latest News
Today at the Cathedral View More
8:00am Morning Prayer
8:30am Doors open for sightseeing
8:30am Eucharist
12:30pm Eucharist
4:00pm Last entry for sightseeing
5:00pm Choral Evensong
5:30pm Cathedral closes

Phase 1 of Equal Access Project at St Paul's completed

Earlier this year St Paul’s Cathedral completed Phase 1 of the Equal Access project, the first major phase of a permanent accessible entrance to the Cathedral. The project is the most significant change to Christopher Wren’s exterior design in 300 years, taking 20 years from design to completion. 
We hope the entrance will open to the public in spring 2022. 

The project is designed by Caroe Architecture Ltd, led by Surveyor to the Fabric of St Paul’s, Oliver Caroe. The entrance consists of two symmetrical ramps either side of a central staircase, rising to the north transept door of the Cathedral. The walls are carved from Portland stone, the same durable white stone as St Paul’s exterior, and the handrail and balustrade is formed in aluminium bronze. 

The North Transept entrance suffered bomb damage during the Second World War, and has not been used as a primary entrance for many years. The project will allow this, inclusive-to-all entrance to be used once again.
Once open in 2022, the entrance will be a permanent addition to one of the world’s most famous and much loved buildings. The new ramp creates improved step-free access for all.

The project has been developed over 20 years, working closely with the City of London, the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England, heritage groups and access organisations to ensure a project fit for all. The Equal Access Project is central to St Paul’s commitment to offering equal access and opportunities, to enable everyone to share in the life and work of the Cathedral. The project is part of a long programme of major changes to St Paul’s over 20 years, supported and envisioned initially by accessibility advisor, the late John Penton OBE, and more recently Martin McConaghy of IDACS. Before the build of this permanent accessible entrance, the Cathedral relied on temporary ramps and a lift to provide step-free access to the Cathedral floor. This entrance will allow every visitor, staff member or volunteer to have a fitting entrance into the Cathedral. The funding for the project came largely from donations. 

Oliver Caroe, Surveyor to the Fabric of St Paul’s said: “The design of the ramp has a long history. We have developed and completed a concept originated by my predecessor as Surveyor, Martin Stancliffe. The Cathedral experimented with many designs before choosing this extraordinary and delightful solution. This permanent ramp in Portland stone is a fitting addition to the Cathedral, one of the most iconic and highly valued buildings in London and to the world beyond. It shows that even the most precious Grade I listed buildings like St Paul’s can be made accessible, with the right care – and with the support of all those in the consents system. My design team and the contractors have laboured over every detail with the most diligent and exacting precision. We are so proud of the craftspeople who have brought this essential vision into being. This project will be a memorable experience for us all.”

The Very Reverend David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s, said: “St Paul’s Cathedral famously rose from the ashes of the Great Fire of London, into Wren’s recognisable design that we know and love today. Wren’s classical design relies on steps on all side to enter the building, posing challenges for many visitors. Working closely with the City of London, Cathedral Fabric Commission, heritage groups and accessibility organisations, we have created a design that seamlessly fits into Wren’s original design, while allowing all to be welcomed to St Paul’s, whatever their access needs. The entrance will welcome visitors, staff and volunteers equally when it opens in 2022.”

The Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral would like to thank the following supporters for their generous commitment to this project:

  • The H. B. Allen Charitable Trust
  • The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
  • The City of London Endowment Trust for St Paul’s 
  • The Cadogan Charity
  • The Garfield Weston Trust for St Paul’s
  • The Mercers Company 
  • Allchurches Trust 
  • The Goldsmiths’ Company Charity
  • The Kirby Laing Foundation         
  • The Lodge of Antiquity   
  • David Barnett    
  • The Masons’ Company Charitable Trust 

And many other supporters whose gifts enabled this work to happen, including those who wish to remain anonymous.

For further information on accessibility at St Paul's, visit our Accessibility webpage