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.
Today in history - A tale of true bravery at St Paul's
12 September 2013
St Paul's has long been associated with the Second World War, the dome rising high above the destruction of the
Blitz and Sir Winston Churchill declaring the Cathedral must be saved at all costs.
But Wren's great masterpiece can also owe its survival to a lesser-known act of bravery, carried out by a Cornish Officer and Scottish
Sapper on 12 September, 1940.
A night-time raid over the City had left one bomb, unexploded, lodged 30 feet deep in the road outside the main west end of the Cathedral.
Weighing 4,400lb (2,000kg), the bomb was positioned close to a nearby gas main, which had been damaged by the raid.
Aware the bomb could not be left so close to St Paul's, a team of Royal Engineers, led by Lieutenant Robert Davies, set to work digging it out,
all the time not knowing if the huge device would detonate, unquestionably with the loss of their lives and with vast damage to the Cathedral.
Watch a brief video preview of the bomb being dug-up from outside the Cathedral.
This video is available to purchase from British Pathé
Over the course of three days, the team worked to remove the explosive, before placing it on the back of a truck and driving it out to Hackney
Marshes. When it was exploded on the Marshes, a crater more than 100ft (30m) across was left - a true indication of its devastating power.
For his bravery in leading the team which disposed of the bomb, Lieutenant Davies was awarded the George Cross, the highest honour available.
The same honour was also afforded to Lance Corporal 'Sapper' George Wyllie, whose George Cross citation read: "The actual discovery and removal of the
bomb fell to him. Sapper Wylie's untiring energy, courage, and disregard for danger were an outstanding example to his comrades."
Despite being the third person ever cited for a George Cross (Lieutenant Davies was the second), Wyllie, from Hurlford in Kilmarnock,
disappeared from public view and his story only re-emerged in 1984 when his medal came up for sale at auction.
It is not known why the medal was sold, but it was bought by a City banker and donated to the Cathedral, where it remains to this day as a
reminder of the bravery of Sapper Wyllie, Lieutenant Davies and the other members of the team of Royal Engineers.
Lance Corporal George Cameron Wyllie GC died on 1 February, 1987, aged 77.